Velociryder: Two Wheeled Self Balancing Skateboard

The Velociryder is a two wheeled self balancing powered skateboard. A user stands on it, and it balances about two wheels, kind of like a Segway. The main difference is that the user stands sideways, like on a skateboard, and there are no handlebars. To turn, the back half of the board tilts, so when the user tilts in the direction to turn, the board turns in that direction. Source code for the control is listed at the bottom in the Appendix.

Version 1

Version 1 was made mostly out of wood. Working from my house in the summer of 2010, I didn't have any fancy shop equipment, so the most powered tool I used was either a hand drill or a Dremel. It did work wonderfully. A lot of the part selections were sourced from XenonJohn's excellent Instructable.


Balanced quite well, with a hand controller kill switch

No CAD for version 1

I brought the board to Tech, where I teamed up with Jamison and Xo and entered the board in Georgia Tech's Inventure Prize. It was temporarily called Glide Board, for lack of a better name.

We couldn't present that crudely designed and constructed board, so we created a second version.

Version 2


And fabbed
Made out of sturdy aluminum with CNC tools. The control code refined, the tilting part reinforced, this board looked and balanced amazingly. Unfortunately, the motors were a tad underpowered, so hills were a bit more trouble. We went through the challenges of the Inventure Prize, where we made to to the finals and appeared on public television. The entire competition is here, we are first to present.
We were featured in the business section in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Version 3

Version 3 was never fully built. Made from transparent polycarbonate, it was to have fancy brushless hub motors.
We had the frame assembled to present at the Inventure Prize, but couldn't actually ride it.

Version 4

Version 4 was designed with parts from version 1 with a significant difference: strain gauges. This eliminated the whole tilting back section. 

And it worked!
Quick Stats

Microcontroller Ideally a PIC24H, but was hacked together with an Arduino
Turn sensors Four strain gauges from a bathroom scale
Motors Two brushed 250W Currie electric scooter motors
Battery 6S, 22.2 Volt, 5 Ah lithium polymer "longpack"
Motor controller Dual 25A Sabertooth motor controller
Maximum speed 12 MPH limited by motor controller
Range 2 miles or so