Jyroball launches super-compact, spherical electric monowheel
Weighing just 20 lb (9 kg) and folding into a 10-inch-diameter (25-cm) ball for transport, the Jyroball is a super-compact self-balancing urban monowheel that its creators say is one of the easiest yet to learn to ride. And at US$395 on Indiegogo, it’s less than half the price of most competitors.
In function, it’s much the same as other monowheels, offering a range of 14 mi (22.5 km) from a single 2.5-hour charge, carrying riders up to 220 lb (100 kg) at speeds up to 12.4 mph (20 km/h) and handling inclines up to 15 percent. In form, it’s impressively tiny thanks to a compact 500-watt motor, making for a low center of gravity and easy carrying once the pedals are retracted and carrying handle is extended.
Like other self-balancing electric unicycles, it’s operated by shifts in the rider’s weight – in a nutshell, lean and go – and the Jyroball team says learning to ride it is a 10-minute proposition. But where many others will cost you around the US$1,000 mark, the Jyroball is on Indiegogo for an earlybird price of US$395 (retail will be US$899).
As always, it’s buyer beware with any crowdfunding project, and you’d be wise to do plenty of due diligence before putting your dollars down. But the company behind this, Moby, and its founder Thomas O’Connell, claim an impressive track record in building up kids’ brands like Strolly, Yvolution and Neon – and the Jyroball has been designed with the help of original Openwheel designer Marc Simeray, whose patent for a seatless self-balancing electric unicycle back in 2006 was among the earliest in the field.