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Watch This Guy Make a Self-Driving Bike that Can Stand on Its Own

The buzz around self-driving cars has exploded in recent years, with many big names, including Waymo, GM, and Elon Musk's Tesla, getting behind the concept. While everyone's attention is focused on four-wheel vehicles, some people are developing bicycles that can stand and ride on their own.
Meet Xuan, the self-driving bike created by Chinese engineer Peng Zhihui 9 photos
From concept to reality, this Chinese engineer designed a self-driving bikeFrom concept to reality, this Chinese engineer designed a self-driving bikeFrom concept to reality, this Chinese engineer designed a self-driving bikeFrom concept to reality, this Chinese engineer designed a self-driving bikeFrom concept to reality, this Chinese engineer designed a self-driving bikeFrom concept to reality, this Chinese engineer designed a self-driving bikeFrom concept to reality, this Chinese engineer designed a self-driving bikeFrom concept to reality, this Chinese engineer designed a self-driving bike
It's very unusual to see a bike standing on its own, without any help or mechanism that prevents it from falling. Since the 19th century, scientists and engineers have attempted to explain bicycle self-stability. Technically, the bike could stand on its own, but to do so, the object's center of gravity must be within its points of contact with the ground. That space is quite limited, with only two points of contact.

However, when the wheels spin, it's a different story. When you move, they become gyroscopes. Almost any bike will stay upright as long as it's rolling. This is why you can ride a bike without steering if you go fast enough. But we're not talking about a bike that has a rider in this article. For now, the self-riding bike that Chinese engineer Peng Zhihui has created can stand on its own and ride by itself, without any biker.

He called his invention Xuan and the whole process of making it took four months. Huijun focused on three major steps: building a control system that uses the natural dynamics of the machine, integrating a set of sensors and a computing chip as the brain for the whole mechanism, and developing sensing and control algorithms based on the hardware.

For this project, he thought about the self-balancing part, which we briefly touched upon. To make the bike stand on its own, Zhihui fitted a metal wheel under the seat that could instantly reverse the direction of its spin to provide angular motion, preventing Xuan from falling over. In terms of how he got it to move move, he equipped the bike with two brushless motors and a steering gear to control the handlebar.

Accelerometer and gyroscope sensors were added to detect even the tiniest motions. The bike seems to not wobble even a bit when riding because it's frequently self-adjusting. To map out the surrounding environment and avoid obstacles, the Chinese engineer decided to install an RGB-D camera and a LIDAR sensor.

What powers the bike is a lithium battery that can pump enough juice to keep it running for up to three hours. While Xuan cannot currently carry anyone and has much room for improvement, especially in the handlebar transmission part, it's still a cool invention that I'd like to see in the future rolling on the streets.

You can watch the entire process and see the concept come to life in the video released by Peng Zhihui:

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