By Andrew Liszewski
If you’ve been on the hunt for an eco-friendly way to commute to work that includes all the thrills of riding a roller coaster, a team of mechanical engineering students from the University of Adelaide has got just the thing. EDWARD, or the ‘Electric Diwheel With Active Rotation Damping’ is the same idea as a monowheel, where the rider sits inside the wheel. But there’s two wheels instead of one so you don’t have to balance yourself. Hence the ‘di’ instead of ‘mono’. Do you follow?
Like most vehicles that are driven this way, EDWARD is susceptible to the gerbiling effect where the rider tends to rock back and forth during hard braking or fast acceleration. But the team has worked hard to minimize that with built-in dynamic lateral stability and slosh control, which can be switched on or off as needed. Those systems even allow the driver to control EDWARD while rotated upside down, though that seems more like a way to show how far the technology they’ve developed can be pushed, rather than a practical feature.