I’ve been excited about the electric unicycle since I first tried my friend’s SBU at Burningman in 2012. It felt like the future the moment I sat on it. But at $1795 it seemed ridiculously expensive especially since the founders brag in their Shark Tank interview that it only costs them $345 to produce. I decided to wait until the price went down. Another year rolled by, and then another with out any adjustment in price. So, in 2014 I spent about 1 Lakh rs. to get my own. Almost as much as I paid for my brand new Tata Nano car. The price still seems high, but I love it. I love the feeling of slaloming up and down hills, of having limitless energy to explore trails, of zipping around the farm I live on. (I love the Nano too btw.)
At HillHacks this year I ran into Alex from Makey Street. He was inspired by the Unicycle and decided making an open source / hardware electric unicycle would be a great project for them to try out their new platform. We’ve decided to collaborate and use this as a chance to set up an electric unicycle lab on the farm where I’m running the Jaaga Study program. Since my initial experiments with the Unicycle at Burningman electric unicycles have really taken off with a variety of different Chinese manufacturers making their own. We’ve bought a variety of these to help us understand what the variables and components are that make for a good electric unicycle.
In addition to coming up with an open electric unicycle design other people can build on, I’d like to use it to help the students in Jaaga Study learn about motors, batteries, micro-controllers and hardware. My goal is to soon have electric unicycle building be core to my program with everyone here building their own unicycles while they learn to code.
Towards this we’re establishing an Electric Unicycle Fellowship which will begin Jan 26 and end April 3. Electric Unicycle fellows live on the Jaaga Farm during this time and work with Alex on designing, assembling, researching, promoting, and riding electric unicycles. Your living expenses are covered during the fellowship, though you need to volunteer 10 hours a week volunteering with Jaaga outside your unicycle duties. If all goes well you can build your own electric unicycle to keep (you’ll need to pay for the components yourself).
If this sounds interesting to you & you are available during this time & happy to live on an organic farm outside Bangalore. Please let us know by filling out this application.