Theoretically, monowheels have the potential to be the most efficient mode of land transportation. Monowheels have fascinated scientists for centuries. There have been many major breakthroughs in monowheel technology, but the vehicle is still not a practical mode of transportation. In theory, it could be a more efficient way of transportation because the single wheel has less rolling resistance than four or two wheels. A monowheel is a vehicle with one wheel that the driver sits inside (Southall). This is not to be confused with a unicycle where the driver sits over the wheel, or a iwheel where the driver sits between two wheels (Merchant).
A monowheel may have more than one wheel, but only one touches the ground. A larger outer wheel makes bumps less Jarring (History of the… ). The main wheel of a monowheel is not always perpendicular to the ground (Motorwheels monowheels). The frame of a monowheel has ball bearings at each corner, which the outer wheel rotates on (Deliu).
There is no steering mechanism for monowheels (History of the… ). Steering a monowheel usually requires the driver to shift their weight to one side or place a foot on the ground. B It is hard to balance at low speeds and when stopped (Deliu).
As long as a monowheel has forward motion, it will remain upright (Southall). Driving a monowheel requires careful throttle and brake control to prevent gerbilling. (Deliu). Gerbilling is when the inner frame and the driver of a monowheel makes a complete turn upside-down and then returns to the correct orientation at least once. It is called this, because it is similar to a gerbil or small rodent running too quickly on an exercise wheel. Gerbilling is caused when the driver accelerates too quickly or brakes uddenly. Alfred D’Harlingue made a propellor-driven monowheel.
A propellor-driven monowheel has a lower chance of gerbilling during acceleration because it is pulling the frame forwards, not driving off the outside wheel. Small wheels or skis are often added to the front and/or rear of the vehicle to prevent gerbilling. In 1937, Rose patented an anti-gerbiling wheel (Motorwheels monowheels). Fins may be added to stabilize a monowheel by providing air resistance to the rear. There have been many patents for “monowheels” or similar one-wheeled vehicles (Merchant). Georg Bergner as the first monowheel patent.
Rousseau built the first monowheel in 1869. Gerdes invented a monowheel in 1931 that had an angled drive wheel. The main wheel was tilted at a 45 degree angle to the right side of the driver. He planned to ride his invention from France to Spain. It is unclear if he made the Journey, or even attempted it (History of the… ). Dr J H Purves invented a giant monowheel called the Dynowheel. It was wide enough to stand on its own, but was even more difficult to steer than conventional monowheels. Richard Hemmings constructed a monowheel ropelled by a hand crank.
Hand crsank monowheels are extremely inefficient, because they don’t utilize more powerful leg muscles. Monowheels were originally human powered (Motorwheels monowheels). Human powered monowheels are available in China for about $350 (History of the… ). The first monowheel made commercially available is the Wheelsurf. It is built in the netherlands and is powered by a 31cc four-stroke Honda engine. It can go up to 25 miles per hour because it is so lightweight. It costs $7,000 and is not street legal in most countries (Southall). The