EDWARD, aka Electric Diwheel with Active Rotation Damping (and no Gerbiling)
June 8th, 2011
There are lots of ways to get around town, but I’m pretty sure that most of us have never driven around in an electric diwheel transportation device. Nope, didn’t think so. EDWARD (which stands for Electric Diwheel with Active Rotation Damping) was created by students at the University of Adelaide’s School of Mechanical Engineering.
The moving contraption gets around using a pair of motor-driven wheel rings, which surround a central seat for its driver. Because of this design, the seating compartment can move independently from the wheels. Top speed for EDWARD is about 25MPH, and its two-wheel design allows for it to spin on a dime. It also has a sophisticated control and vertical stabilization functionality that ensures the passenger stays parallel to the ground when activated. The driver can even drive upside-down (assuming they’re buckled in tightly.) Or as the creators put it EDWARD includes “inbuilt dynamic lateral stability and slosh control to prevent ‘gerbiling’ or tumbling in aggressive braking or acceleration maneuvers”. And we all know how important it is to prevent “gerbiling.” Yeesh.
But enough tech talk. Be sure to check out the video clip below to see the EDWARD in action. It sure looks like fun to drive, although it might induce just the slightest touch of nausea with all that rocking and spinning action when slosh control is deactivated.
Upside-down driving, FTW!