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Various Onewheel prototypes

Onewheel inventor and chief engineer Kyle Doerksen spent 8 years designing consumer and technical products at IDEO a global design and innovation firm. He holds multiple engineering degrees from Stanford University.

The idea for Onewheel evolved as he needed to walk a mile to work and dreamed of a better way to get there. He grew up in the Canadian Rockies as an avid snowboarder and wanted to bring the feeling of snowboarding to pavement. Electric vehicles are his passion and Onewheel is an expression of the true freedom and excitement that electric vehicles can achieve.

Kyle Doerksen works on an early Onewheel prototype. Notice the handheld controller; this was the precursor to the footpad sensor and was used to engage the self-balancing mechanism, not to control speed.

Here are the specifications Doerksen listed for his first prototype (notice the weight, and you thought they were heavy at 25 pounds!):

  • Brushed DC Motor (MY1020)
  • OSMC
  • Chain drive (upgraded from belt)
  • Lead Acid Batteries (24V)
  • 11x7.10x5 Go Cart Tire
  • Arduino, PID control loop
  • Sparkfun 5DOF IMU (Accelerometer, Gyro)
  • 42 lbs
Riding an early Onewheel prototype.