Let's Make Robots!

Cyclone - The One Wheeler

This is an Idea I've had and I'd like to know if people think it's possible before I spend loads of money ;-)


It's based on a Hubless Wheel.

So the Motors are in Black, and the two Gears you see on the cover image will be linked by a chain. The bottom motor will drive the internal 20tooth gear with that chain, which will turn the outside Wheel (with 100teeth). The Whole internal Hub has most of the weight on the bottom so gravity will help it stay centered as the outside wheel rotates.


The two other motors spin two Gyroscopes (metal disc's with a fair bit of weight, bronze colour) in opposite directions creating a lot of Centrifugal force. This force in theory should also help keep the Hub stationary as well as balanced.

Now for steering...


The Two gyro's are mounted independently only by a bar from the middle (grey) block to the outside of the hub and will be able to rotate from this axis. A servo in the middle will have rods attached from each end of the horn to the gyros. When the servo turns it'll rotate both gryos in opposite directions spinning the whole wheel in place, eg this Bike wheel.


I was thinking to making the frame either...

A) buying a cheap wheel, ripping the spokes out and glueing a timing belt to the inside, then using timing pullies for the gears


B) getting it laser cut from two bit's of 5mm acrylic with a 3mm plywood inbetween (13mm in total width) for added strength.


The Whole Wheel has a diameter of 37cm's in this drawing.


The Electronics haven't been included in this drawing (to hard for me), but it would be run off a Atmega328. the two gyro motors don't need speed control and only have to run at full speed. I was thinking of using a relay to control each one of them, powering up one first then the other, as the motors would draw loads of current to get started.


And if I manage all that, then adding sensors and what ever else :-)

Note: I'll try make the gyro discs as big as will fit.


Now... Does Anybody think it's possible to make? or am I just crazy? ;-)

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

...if it´ll work, but I think it is one of the coolest things I´ve seen here in a long time!


I had an idea concerning the turning of the whole robot.

If you have two gyros that rotate counter to each other, I believe you could turn the robot without a servo moving the gyros.

My idea is to speed up one gyro and/or slow down the other one, and the robot should turn towards the direction of the slower gyro.

It does imply that the gyros are heavy enough to affect the robot with their spinning mass.

That sounds like it could work, would make things simpler (mechanically).

I think I'm going to have to make up a steering rig and test some ideas.

Thanks for your help

(for robotboy)

It is for the same reason everyone here makes robots:
1.) proof of concept
2.) proof of their own ability (mechanically, electrically, and software)
3.) for fun!
4.) this would be the first I have seen 

The gyros will drift so you can't just hook them both to a servo.

You will need to turn them continuously and probably at different rates (I assume your gyros spin in opposite directions, one clockwise and one counterclockwise) so you will need one servo for each gyro and the servos must be able to spin freely in any direction ( continuous rotation servos ). If you do go with continuous rotation servos you will probably want to remove the existing control board because you will want to have fine control over acceleration, not just speed. Also, getting power to the gyro motors may be tricky since wires will eventually get tangled up... unless you can somehow fix that with software, hmm...

In any case, this is a great idea and I can't wait to see your robot running around :)


Will a CR servo spin fast enough to create a stable gyroscopic effect?  

No, as SkeptiKal says above, he is using motors for the servos.

You still need the motors to spin the flywheel, I was talking about the servo spinning the flywheel perpendicular to the axis of the flywheel. 

Here are my 3 things to add:

- cobaltphoenix already pointed out to move the gyro's as much down as possible

- the servo moving the gyro's must be a strong one and metal gear -> better would be a DC motor with a worm gear to get the force/tension of the gyro not carried to the motor/servo

-  steering could be done by swinging only a weight to left or right, like the motorbike driver leaning out... (so, no need to move the gyro's)

- lasercut/milled aluminum would be the best choice for the main wheel since it already brings in a certain weight for the stabilisation

Well, it's four things now...hope you will start working soon ;-)


Here's a video of students that made the exact same robot: