Blazing a high-tech trail

Exciting new technology is transforming old-school board sports and giving us yet another reason to leave the car at home and enjoy the fresh air. Onewheel, developed by California-based Future Motion, is the latest take on skateboarding. Its state-of-the-art systems include a unique self-balancing mechanism, which means almost anyone can give it a go.

Users stand with their feet either side of the board’s single wheel like a skateboard. Feedback data from solid-state inertial sensors immediately balances the board, and an electric motor can power riders across almost any surface up to a top speed of 14mph. Onewheel can cover six to eight miles on a single charge and can be re-charged in 20 minutes. A smartphone app gives riders real-time information about the battery level and receives sensor-driven information that adjusts the board’s setting to the riders’ ability and the terrain they’re on. The app also updates the board’s firmware to allow users to benefit from future improvements.

Gyros and accelerometers read the board’s position 14,000 times per second, relaying the information to a STM32F103V8T6 SoC based on an ARM® Cortex®-M3 processor. The processor’s features allow it to respond to its environment dynamically without compromising performance or efficiency, and creating the perfect on-board experience.

Serious enthusiasts may test the capabilities of this high-tech take on a classic, but for the more casual commuter it could beat sitting in traffic during short journeys, and it’s a more sustainable alternative.



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