#CityofCapeTown trended on Wednesday and Thursday as users criticised the Cape Town municipality over an eviction incident that went viral. A video shared on…
Meet the single wheeled RYNO. Incredible isnâ€™t it, and slightly goofy looking at the same time? First off the RYNO was not created by a large corporation with even larger cash reserves for research and development. It was created by a single man who with 15 years of auto industry experience and inspiration from his 13 year old daughter.
When asked by his daughter if a one wheeled motorcycle, like the one she had seen in a video game, could be built, Chris Hoffman from Portland, Oregon thought that it probably could.
With a simple sketch on a napkin as a starting point, he knew that with technological advances and cost reductions leveraged from mass produced products like Smartphoneâ€™s, the technology-to-cost curve had finally hit a tipping point and that a single wheeled motorcycle, like his daughter had daydreamed about, was indeed possible. Finding parts, testing them, finding new parts and testing them again until all he needed was the sheet metal to bring them all together into a working prototype.
However hardware is only half of the balancing act and it would take Tony Ozrelicâ€™s (a keen inventor, self-balancing machine enthusiast and RYNO co-founder) software knowhow to bring the RYNO together as a rideable prototype.
Six years and three prototypes later, what you see here is a machine as amazing as it is strange. Strange only because it is different, and as humans weâ€™re not very fond of different. The very thought of a single wheeled motorbike has a bizarre effect on the brain â€“ initially you think it wonâ€™t work and will topple over, but as you can see from the videos, it does work and works well.
Looking at the RYNO you might wonder where the power comes from, where are the batteries and where is the motor? Cleverly, both the battery pack and the electric motor are contained inside the wheel hub, which is great for packaging but crucially for centre of gravity.
Of course like all clever startups, the creators arenâ€™t giving away all their secrets as to how the RYNO actually works, other than, â€œit uses advanced motion sensor technologyâ€ and clever gyro and accelerometer technology. Much like the more well known Segway the RYNO uses driverâ€™s body inputs rather than a traditional handlebar or steering wheel arrangement.
Yes the RYNO has handlebars, but it is more comfort and housing auxiliary controls than it is for steering. Lean forward and the bike will accelerate forwards (up to 16kph), lean backwards and the bike will slow down…you get the picture. Steering is used by pivoting your hips by using the foot pegs as leverage. Seems simple in theory, but I would imagine it takes some getting used to. Whereas you would lean over the handlebars of a regular bike under braking, on the RYNO you lean back, kind of like reining in a horse.
However it is the RYNOâ€™s ability to pivot on its own axis and small single wheel footprint which sets it apart from say a Segway. Also, the ability to sit down as opposed to standing only is a massive plus point.
How much does a RYNO cost? In the US, it’s retailing for US$5 295, so if you want to buy one anywhere else, be prepared to add on import duties or taxes. That’s a lot of money, but seriously for something so cool and so unique, I reckon itâ€™s a bit of a bargain.