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A Huawei engineer develops a self-riding bicycle

A bike that cycles itself? (Source: YouTube)
A bike that cycles itself? (Source: YouTube)
An engineer associated with the OEM Huawei has documented the design and creation of an electric bicycle. However, unlike the vast majority of these devices, this one is rated to propel and balance itself, thanks to a complex system of sensors and processing power, apparently modelled after similar breakthroughs in self-driving cars and satellite tech.

A Huawei employee claims to have developed a new kind of autonomous vehicle. Rather than being any kind of smart car, however, this devices is a bicycle, albeit one that can stand, balance and travel by itself. Zhihui Jun, the engineer in question, claims to have come up with the idea after falling off a non-modified counterpart and wishing it could stand up by itself.

The prototype is more of an e-bike, thanks to its lithium-ion battery rated to last 2 or 3 hours. However, it is also reportedly enhanced with all the sensors necessary for the bicycle equivalent of a self-driving car. They include accelerometers, gyroscopes and LiDAR scanners, not to mention the AI to control the hardware and confer features such as obstacle-avoidance and automatic route-following.

However, all that would not matter if the bike could not manage the trick of standing on its own. Zhihui Jun asserts that this is possible through the use of a disk-like control module connected to precision sensors that senses the slightest tilting in the 3D-printed frame and dictates the minute changes in balence to compensate, and, thus, keep it upright.

The result sounds far-fetched (not to mention fascinating, if not slightly eerie, to watch on video) yet has in fact been done before, and has been achieved through the same principles by which satellites maintain their orientations in orbit.

The entire arrangement is apparently controlled using a Huawei Ascend 310 processor. Despite this, there are no indications that the same OEM intends to mass-produce and release the same kind of self-cycling e-bike any time soon.

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Deirdre O'Donnell, 2021-07-13 (Update: 2021-07-13)