About this project
We're happy to present to you the Solowheel Iota: a new personal vehicle for the savvy 21st century commuter.
Inventist is a world leader in bringing to market groundbreaking and affordable personal e-vehicles. We brought you the Solowheel and the incredibly popular Hovertrax – the original invention launched in May 2013 that started the craze for hoverboards.
When we introduced our first Solowheel, we billed it as the smallest, greenest, most convenient e-vehicle ever invented. That title now goes to the Iota, which will have 8" wheels and weigh as little as 8lbs. We have a working prototype and are now in the final stages of testing and fine-tuning. As people already know from riding the Solowheel and Hovertrax, our self-balancing technology is the best in the industry, we only use high-quality battery packs and motors, and we use a full suite of electronic safety features. You can expect the same level of quality from the Iota.
The Birth of a Design
Shane Chen and Inventist have been involved with and working on self-balancing personal transportation technology for a while now. For those who haven't experienced the feeling, it's hard to communicate. It's a gliding, flying, free sort of feeling that enables you to move effortlessly and gracefully through the landscape. The Solowheel has the most powerful motor of these inventions, but isn't practical for inside use, and is difficult to learn.
When we introduced the Hovertrax, we realized that there is a place for smaller, elegant devices which are more for play and less for transportation, but the concept caught on so thoroughly that we began to experiment with different ways of using two wheels that might be more versatile than the Hovertrax.
The Iota is birthed from an extended look into the human dynamics of different standing positions and wheel arrangements. Adopting a lower, two-wheeled stance relative to the Hovertrax and Solowheel, we are able to find compromise between both worlds, making a device that is easy to learn and more versatile than the Hovertrax.
For prototyping purposes we were able to use components from the Hovertrax to quickly prove out the concept. For our production version, we plan to use a much more powerful motor.
We’re happy to say that we're planning to make the Iota in the USA — a first for our Solowheel line! We're running this Kickstarter campaign to offer fans an early chance of getting an Iota for themselves, and to secure sufficient funding to make initial production economical for the end user. We're grateful for your support and excited to add another offering to our line of self-balancing vehicles!
Its patent-pending design includes a parallelogram-based turning assist mechanism which makes the Iota maneuverable and easy to use. In addition to an intelligent rider detection system, folding pedals, lights and a convenient carrying handle, the Iota will include Bluetooth capabilities, with smartphone and watch apps coming soon. We're also developing a suspension system.
The unit used in the video is a rough prototype. The design of the final product will be based on these drawings:
- Range: up to 8 miles (12.8 km)
- Speed: capable of 10 mph (16 kph)
- Incline: 15 degrees
- Weight: approx. 8 pounds (3.6 kg)
- Width: 7” (17.8 cm)
- Weight limit: 250 lbs (113.4 kg)
- Inflatable 8” (20 cm) wheel
- 1000W motor
- 100Wh lithium ion battery
- Charge time: approx. 40 minutes
- Front and rear lights
The selling price will be $600, but you only need to pledge $445 to receive an Iota. We expect to ship them by September 2017.
If you are looking for reliable outdoor transportation, if you want to support American innovation, or if you just want to have some fun on the newest gadget, please support the Solowheel Iota!
Real Life Applications
The Iota is perfect for "last mile" commuting, hanging out around town, running quick errands or just having fun.
Hoverboards and Segways are not good for transportation because of their wide footprint. You need to be constantly watching the path of the wheels on both sides of your feet. The wheel on the right may hit a bump you just don’t see, and then you may get precariously close to the edge of the curb on your left. If you hit something, you can make the vehicle spin, which could throw you off balance. The Iota eliminates these hazards. Because the wheels are between your feet, you only need to scan the road directly in front of you, making it genuinely useful and practical.
Unfortunately, most of the hoverboards you've seen are copies of the Hovertrax sold by hundreds of other manufacturers. Except for the Razor Hovertrax, all those other hoverboards are illegal and were often made without concern for quality. (Inventist’s Hovertrax was the only hoverboard we know of that was reviewed and not recalled in the mass CPSC recall of summer 2016.) But the popularity of hoverboards, and the extreme proliferation of knockoff brands, created a situation in which our ongoing progress in stopping the copies has been slow, even though they infringe on our patents.
All backers who choose an Iota reward will get a discount on extra battery packs once they're for sale (limit two discounted extra battery packs per serial number), and a free carrying bag.
Risks and challenges
After producing three previous products in the Solowheel line as well as the Hovertrax, we’re very experienced in developing and manufacturing products in this field.
However, the Iota includes several new features compared to our previous products, as well as the obvious mechanical differences, so it’s always possible that testing could reveal unexpected adjustments that we’ll need to make. If challenges arise, they’ll most likely be in ergonomics and mechanical details.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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