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DIY micro OneWheel

I’ve been wanting to build something that is small enough to take anywhere, but still powerful enough to travel longer distances. This first version of this project uses an 8” Segway es4 hub motor, VESC 6 MKIII, a set of longboard trucks and wheels, and some fabricated parts. With the VESC being mounted so close to the motor I was seeing some interference so I also remote mounted a MPU6050 under the front foot plate.

I started off by designing everything in Rhino 7 to be able to see the way all of the parts fit together and the possible ride angles. After this I machined the frame out of 6061 Aluminum on my Shapeoko 3. The foot plates are machined from an oak shipping pallet. The frame in total is just short of 15 inches making this extremely portable, but the short wheelbase adds to the difficulty.

For my initial testing I am using a 10s2p battery from a es4 external battery pack. Eventually I am planning to build a 18650 or 21700 12s pack that will fit in the frame and not stick out the top. The next step is to design a case for the VESC and also design a fender for the tire. I also need to replace the electrical tape helping to support the battery…

After riding this and calibrating the MPU6050 and the balance app I can say that this is a platform worth looking into. The carving feels very similar to the flow of a snowboard. I also think this would work well in a larger format, with a longer wheelbase.

Here’s a short clip of my first rides with some wider trucks that limit motion.


Super original concept!


Oh hell yeah. Definitely following this fun.

I’m thinking more of a remote version on a longer wheelbase deck for that leifboard feel. Maybe some surf adapter trucks to make it extra flowy.


I made some changes to the design so now there is a longer wheelbase, and it also tilts forward and backward more. This will allow it to travel up steeper slopes. It’s still using limit switches for safety, but I have copper foil and velostat on the way to make my own pressure sensors. As soon as I make the new battery mount I’ll be back to learning how to ride this board.


I wonder if you’ll notice a difference between riding with the electronics on the front side vs heel side. I imagine it would be better toe side since your weight is more in your heels maybe?


Right now it will have the Vesc mounted toe side but battery mounted heel side. This should make it slightly heavier on the heel side. That’s a good question, I’ll have to test both configurations and see how it feels.

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So after learning how to balance and ride it I was able to swap back to the narrow tkp trucks which allow it to lean more. The longboard wheels now act more like one wheel fangs, as they only touch the ground when riding up an incline or if I lean too hard. I also finished the velostat pressure pads which are much better then the limit switches I was previously using. I am now finding that my 10s battery is a bit too small for it to have enough self balance torque at speed, which seems to be the only time the longboard wheels are used. Eventually I will remove the wheels to have a micro one wheel, but that won’t be safe until I have a battery with more current capabilities. I am also still working on tuning the balance app and IMU, but its currently ridable.


This thing is really interesting. What if you made a structural battery pack built into a really thick fender? Would be complicated, but a clean look as well as centering the weight.

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I was thinking about a pack like that initially, but ended up using what I had on hand. I want to do a 12s 1 or 2p pack. I might put half on the side and one row along the fender.

So far centering the weight hasn’t been an issue. The hardest part is getting my feet aligned when I start because the wheel is so narrow and hard to balance on. I see why the ONEWHEEL uses such a wide tire.


i can imagine. its more like you converted a small EUC into a skateboard shaped thing.
alternatively, and idk how many cells would fit, you could do batteries between the foot stands, esc on top. idk lol.


I was thinking about using cloud wheel donut hub motor to make the smallest OW ever… Probably couldn’t fit the battery onboard unless I used lipos.


Hmm. Wouldnt clearance that small be an issue with lean control?

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The goal of making the smallest OW ever has nothing to do with good rideability. The footpads being OW scaled to the tire you would have very little to stand on, so a design like above with widened footpads might be in order then you give them mega concave to allow a carve. idk or maybe your feet clip in bike style, seems safe


Interesting. Now I’m imagining two tiny onewheels, with one under each foot. Kind of like electric free skates(which, btw, free skate tricks are fuckin cool)

Well lucky for you they exist (as to why IDK)! Segway Drift W1



I saw a dude riding these while pushing a pram around the park. He even had a full face helmet on :sweat_smile:


Dude you might make fun of the full face but these things look sketchy as hell lol

Probably more likely to break your skull on these than on an esk8