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€5,501 pledged of €40,000 goal
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By Olaf Winkler
€5,501 pledged of €40,000 goal
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What is a prototype?

A prototype is a preliminary model of something. Projects that offer physical products need to show backers documentation of a working prototype. This gallery features photos, videos, and other visual documentation that will give backers a sense of what’s been accomplished so far and what’s left to do. Though the development process can vary for each project, these are the stages we typically see:

Proof of Concept

Explorations that test ideas and functionality.

Functional Prototype

Demonstrates the functionality of the final product, but looks different.

Appearance Prototype

Looks like the final product, but is not functional.

Design Prototype

Appearance and function match the final product, but is made with different manufacturing methods.

Production Prototype

Appearance, function, and manufacturing methods match the final product.

Add8205e573db2ecd74a1645eefd0bda original

Prototype Gallery

These photos and videos provide a detailed look at this project’s development.

About this project

Get out of the house this summer and enjoy the best season of the year with the brand-new Üo (i. e. short for Über-ball).

Welcome aboard the Üo!

The Üo is an innovative self-balancing scooter allowing for 360° freedom of moving. It is different than a scooter or a Segway. It offers more freedom of moving. When you ride on it, it feels like skating, skiing, or floating. But it is much easier because of its special self-balancing system. It detects where your body is leaning to and naturally balances you.

All the way back in 2010, this crazy idea hit me to build a vehicle that rides on a ball and to all directions. Ever since that day, I kept thinking about the best mechanism. As an electrical engineer, as well as an automotive electronics developer, I have the knowledge of building such a vehicle. But to bring Üo into reality is not a simple task.

As you can see, the Üo rides on three motor-driven wheels and a ball. To maximize the fun of riding and the freedom and ease of control, as well as safety and balancing performance, it took me lots of effort. This development could not be finished as a free-time task.

In 2015 I made a big decision in my life and quit my job in automotive and finally become a kickstarter.

After hundreds of adjustments, test rides, and changes, the development is finished and the Üo has reached its final design and functionality. The result you can see in the video above and on the photos below and in the gallery.

In order to ensure a smooth kickstarter project flow, I decided to push the development of the Üo forward to a mature level before going public.

This is the very first time that the Üo will be available for purchase. We offer massive price cuts for the introduction phase in the rewards section on the right.

At this place a great THANK YOU to the fantastic artist Joel Sarakula who gave us permission to use his song "I Will Deliver" from his album "The Golden Age" for the video background. You like it? Watch the video once again, share our kickstarter campaign with your friends and also visit Joel's website and his new album campaign site. Do not miss this rising star (big fan here;-).

There are two versions of the Üo available, plus colors can be chosen and combined freely. After the end of the campaign we will contact all backers to enquire their preferences.

Why the Üo is so special?

If you have experience in skiing or skating you might understand the fascinating feeling of freedom to slide. But those activities require a lot of balancing skills and can also be dangerous.

The Üo provides a somehow similar feeling, but it takes over the balancing part of the work. The total freedom of movement - i. e. going sideways, backways, whereever, turning on the spot or turning while riding somewhere - all controlled while leaning and pushing the Üo in those directions - is unrivalled and unbelievable fun you should try for yourself. The joystick on top of the stick controls the yaw rotation (left/right). With this joystick you can also enable and disable automatic yaw adjustment. When enabled, the Üo will rotate until you face towards the driving direction (facing forward). Operation is very intuitive and straightforward.

Whenever riding, people stop by, marvel at the artistic and grand movement and exceptional way of the drive system. Then, they start asking questions.

 

It is easy and fun to ride the Üo. Just step onto it, start it, and the Üo will pick you up gently.
It is easy and fun to ride the Üo. Just step onto it, start it, and the Üo will pick you up gently.

 

The joystick on top of the steering stick gives you full control over all functions of the Üo at any time.
The joystick on top of the steering stick gives you full control over all functions of the Üo at any time.

Technical details

 

 

High-quality production

The next step for our Üo is setting up a small-series production. This is where we need your help.

The Üo is made of many parts that are custom-designed for this purpose. The most important ones are:

* the metal chassis made from laser-cut steel

* the omniwheels made from laser-cut steel and ball-bearings

* the massive ball made from natural rubber (no hollow core)

* the electronics including, sensors, logic, and power electronics.

Custom-designed parts for a safe and smooth ride.
Custom-designed parts for a safe and smooth ride.

 

The batteries offered in the rewards' section are all high-endurance 12000 or 16000 mAh LiPo batteries from a well-known brand for extraordinary longevity in terms of riding time as well as of charging cycles.

Engineered and handcrafted in Germany

In order to bring all these parts together in best quality, I work together with select suppliers who are experts in their field using latest equipment. Most of the service and component providers are located here in Germany.

All plastic parts will be 3D printed from PLA. This is for cost reasons considering the quantity against the costs for mould tools for plastic parts. This means that the surfaces of the plastic parts will be rough. They testify to the handcraft made in Germany.

The final assembly of all parts will be done by myself and a small team. So, every single Üo will be a handcrafted, unique masterpiece combining specialized mechanical parts from chosen materials, a custom-designed electronics board, and a software dedicated to deliver a smooth and safe riding experience.

Logistics

Logistics will be carried out by a contracted German logistics company. All Üos will come in at least two packages. The steering stick and the base plate will be delivered unattached and must be fixed with two respectively six screws and nuts after unpacking. This assembly work is very basic, should be finished in a few minutes, and requires very little skill and only a few standard metric tools. Anyway, clear instructions will be delivered with each Üo.

All batteries (high-power LiPo batteries) will be dispatched to you directly from the manufacturer's site in Germany in special safety packaging.

Be part of it - Üo won't let you down

As an active backer myself, I know about the backers' insecurities of crowdfunding projects. It is interesting to see a project grow, but you also learn about all the unexpected drawbacks and delays. We also experienced challenges during the development of the Üo during the last years. Some projecs totally fail to deliver. I have also experienced such projects and I absolutely do not want that to happen for this project. Because I like and appreciate the connection and the community that a Kickstarter campaign builds, I decided to push my project forward to a mature development state before going public here on Kickstarter.

If you have any questions about the design or any other details of the Üo, please feel free to ask me. I will try to go into any detail possible to give you an insight of the work and the decisions that lie behind and ahead.

Rewards' description

There are two version of the Üo available. The main difference between Üo and Üo ez are the motors and the LED illumination. Check the table below for details.

 

Information policy

I will keep all backers updated with regular updates about the status of component ordering/production/delivery, and final assembly. This will be an exciting time for all of us. I expect to deliver the first 50 Üos (30x Üo and 20x Üo ez) this summer, see the rewards section.

Enjoy a completely new, exciting ride this summer!

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Risks and challenges

Considering that the development phase of the Üo is finished, the overall risk of this project is low.
1. The given reward delivery dates take suppliers' information into account. Those dates are realistic, but I cannot guarantee for them as many incidents can cause delays.
2. The plastic parts will be made by 3D printing. 3D printing is a quite young technology and it is slow. I have a lot of experience and I am confident that I will get all parts printed in time. Please note that all plastic parts will have a rough surface testifying to this particular production method and the honest hand work of final polishing of 3D printed parts (e. g. removing support material).
3. Although some of the functions of the Üo have already been described here, I plan to deliver a small instruction manual that describes all functions and feedback messages in detail. It will also give additional hints and instructions. The batteries offered here will come with important notes by themselves. Please have a look at those instructions. Big LiPo batteries like these need a certain level of care.
4. The Üo is a self-balancing vehicle that can speed up to considerable velocities. Although there are many protection and warning functions included in the operating hardware and software of the Üo, it does not have safety equipment like redundant and self-supervising electronics or mechanical parts. So, please make sure to always wear appropriate safety gear. Do not let children aged younger than 14 years and animals ride the Üo and do not leave them unattended with the Üo. Check your local rules about electrically driven vehicles in the public. Do not use the Üo in the public where such vehicles are not allowed. Do not ride the Üo aggressively nearby people or animals who obviously feel uncomfortable or irritated. Keep safe distance. Thank you.
I do not accept responsibility for accidents, injuries, and damages caused by riding the Üo, no matter what caused the incident. Liability is limited to the Üo itself and its value. Of course, I will offer proper instructions to allow every backer a safe start.

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Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge €1 or more About $1.06

    Become a friend of Üo and stay in touch

    A great THANK YOU. Support of the Üo at any level is always welcome and helpful.
    We will keep in touch with you via the regular updates of the manufacturing process. You can expect an exciting time.

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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge €10 or more About $11

    Receive a signed tiny-planet Üo postcard

    Your support of the Üo is highly appreciated. We will keep in touch with you via the regular updates of the manufacturing and delivery process. As a special 'thank you' we will make a unique 360-degree photo of the Üo riding along and send it to you as a tiny-planet postcard. Postcard shipping will not be insured. Postage included. Every single postcard will be unique and signed by me.

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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge €899 or more About $953

    Kickstarter-edition Üo ez (w/o batt.)

    You will receive one of the first 20 Üo ez Kickstarter-edition. The Üo ez is the little brother of the Üo. It is powered by three motors, each capable to deliver 350W of mechanical power. The Üo ez has no LED lights installed and comes without a battery.
    You choose the color of the base plate and the fabric cover.
    Add 59 Euro for an LED lights' kit. Add 279 Euro for a 12000 mAh battery or 329 Euro for a 16000 mAh battery (battery prices include safety shipping for all countries).
    Shipment might be fulfilled in more than one parcel delivery (shipping costs include all p&p). We will come back to you and clarify colors and which of the options you choose.
    Shipping inside of Germany included (normal tariff, no islands).
    Future recommended retail price: 1399 Euro

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    Ships to Only certain countries
    Limited 1 backer
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge €999 or more About $1,059

    Kickstarter-edition Üo ez (w/o battery)

    You will receive an Üo ez Kickstarter-edition. The Üo ez is the little brother of the Üo. It is powered by three motors, each capable to deliver 350W of mechanical power. The Üo ez has no LED lights installed and comes without a battery.
    You choose the color of the base plate and the fabric cover.
    Add 59 Euro for an LED lights' kit. Add 279 Euro for a 12000 mAh battery or 329 Euro for a 16000 mAh battery (battery prices include safety shipping for all countries).
    Shipment might be fulfilled in more than one parcel delivery (shipping costs include all p&p). We will come back to you and clarify colors and which of the options you choose.
    Shipping inside of Germany included (normal tariff, no islands). Delivery date depends on actual demand and cannot be guaranteed. First come, first served.
    Future recommended retail price: 1399 Euro

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    Ships to Only certain countries
    0 backers
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge €1,249 or more About $1,324

    Kickstarter-edition Üo (w/o battery)

    You will receive an Üo Kickstarter-edition. The Üo is powered by three motors, each capable to deliver 450W of mechanical power. The Üo comes equipped with LED lights, but without battery. Add 279 Euro for a 12000 mAh battery or 329 Euro for a 16000 mAh battery (battery prices include safety shipping for all countries).
    You choose the color of the base plate and the fabric cover.
    Shipment might be fulfilled in more than one parcel deliveries (shipping costs include all p&p). We will come back to you and clarify your choice of colors and options.
    Shipping inside of Germany included (normal tariff, no islands).
    Delivery date depends on actual demand and cannot be guaranteed. First come, first served.
    Future recommended retail price: 1699 Euro

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    Ships to Only certain countries
    0 backers
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge €1,399 or more About $1,483

    Kickstarter-edition Üo (with battery)

    You will receive one of the first 30 Üo Kickstarter-edition. The Üo is powered by three motors, each capable to deliver 450W of mechanical power. The Üo comes fully equipped with LED lights and a powerful 16000 mAh battery. This package includes an intelligent battery with automatic protection and storage functions.
    You choose the color of the base plate and the fabric cover.
    Fully equipped, nothing to add.
    Shipment might be fulfilled in more than one parcel delivery (shipping costs include all p&p). We will come back to you and clarify your choice of colors.
    Shipping inside of Germany included (normal tariff, no islands).
    Future recommended retail price: 1999 Euro

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    Ships to Only certain countries
    Limited 3 backers
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Funding period

- (30 days)