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September 2009

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Subject:
From:
Michael Blanpied <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Michael Blanpied <[log in to unmask]>
Date:
Fri, 11 Sep 2009 22:58:01 -0400
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Dear FLL Coaches,

You and your transportation-immersed teams might find this pretty 
interesting. A 19-year-old guy has invented a motorcycle called the 
Uno, which uses only one wheel (actually, a pair of side-by-side 
wheels) and operates like an electric-powered unicycle.

The Uno uses active balancing and rider detection, accelerometers, 
and feedback--similar to a Segway scooter--to remain upright and 
move. It's a very cool concept, and the prototype looks very cool as 
well. The young inventor has won several awards, started a company, 
received venture capital funding, and is developing the bike.

The web site, http://www.the-uno.com/, contains pictures and links to 
several magazine article and awards. The site includes a video of the 
19-year-old inventor presenting the idea to the Dragons--a panel of 
venture capitalists--hoping that they'll invest in his company so he 
can develop the bike; that video includes footage of him riding the 
Uno.

On a related topic, several people have built miniature Segway 
scooters with the NXT kit, using either a light, ultrasonic or 
accelerometer sensor as the feedback input. Building and programming 
a self-balancing robot is a neat project for more advanced NXTists. 
For those wanting a further challenge, the robot can be controlled 
from afar using Bluetooth, with a laptop, cell phone or another NXT 
brick as the controller. There are examples posted to 
http://mindstorms.lego.com/NXTLOG/.

-- 
Cheers,
Mike Blanpied
Reston, VA
2006 #4809 Nano People
2007 #1666 Power Bunnies
2008 #5013 BLT--Brilliant LEGO Team

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