The smaller the contact patch of the wheel with the surface on which it moves, the lower the friction, fuel consumption and higher maneuverability - in theory. Any owner of the equivalent of 1.5 thousand dollars will soon be able to check the reliability of this physical principle, after the Juo ball-scooter by the German engineer Olaf Winkler goes on sale.
The base of the car consists of three "omnidirectional wheels" that do not touch the ground, but fit snugly against a regular ball of dense rubber. As they spin, they force the ball to roll in the desired direction, providing feedback from onboard accelerometers and gyroscopes. The ball is located in the center of the application of forces, including the weight of the rider, so the entire structure remains in balance.
The control of "Juo", by analogy with gyro scooters and "Sigways", is intuitive and is carried out by tilting the human body for movement in different directions. Considering some novelty of the vehicle, the engineer duplicated the joystick control to train inexperienced pilots. Plus, when you stand on a ball balancing under you, you just want to grab onto something reliable.
The maximum speed "Juo" reaches 12 km / h, but Winkler is in no hurry to disclose data on battery capacity and battery life, which is unlikely to be great.
For those who have no idea how you can move on a ball, and not just perform circus tricks, the pedantic German advises - remember how you learned to skate, ski or swim. Scary and awkward at first, and then sheer pleasure. True, not too cheap, because a startup needs a generous investment and the price tag for Juo is unlikely to be lower than for existing models of gyro scooters.