January 5, 2009

Coolest. Eco. Toy. Ever. (of course, like all other cool eco vehicles, you can’t buy it). The Uno Electric Motorcycle.


Many students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology look forward to the day they’ll make headlines with an extraordinary invention. But Ben Gulak, a 19-year-old freshman, looks back. He’s the inventor of the Uno, an electric motorcycle that has its two wheels side by side instead of fore and aft, balances using a computer and gyroscope, and maneuvers with a shift of the rider’s body forward, back or sideways…

…initially for a science fair, began assembling a prototype from conventional motorcycle parts. The project, he says, allowed him to “mesh two passions” — engineering and motorcycles. As he describes it, the early effort — replete with burning motors — resembled the scenes in the movie “Iron Man” when a rocket-propelled suit goes out of control. Mr. Gulak got help from a robotics engineer, Trevor Blackwell, and added systems that stabilize the vehicle.

Since then, he has won a heap of accolades — Popular Science chose the bike as one of the top 10 inventions of the year and featured it on the cover; Mr. Gulak made an appearance on “The Tonight Show” — as well as the interest of investors.

But for now he’s seeking international patents, and dealing with exams…

For the rest…Read and weep (’cause you can’t ride one). 

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