The concept

The Powersphere is a straddle type vehicle that maintains its balance on a sphere. It’s propelled by 3 Omni-directional electric motors.

The background

The inspirations for this concept came to me while I was working on the “Surfbal“, a smaller vehicle with a round standing platform to balance and surf on. Similarly to the Segway, the pilot of the Powersphere will need to lean his body where he wants to go to move the vehicle.

How it works

The motors are synchronized to move the sphere in any desired direction based on the center of gravity of the unit. Each motor spins a rubber wheel in contact with the Sphere. They can rotate on their longitudinal axis to change the vehicle’s trajectory.

The Powesphere is equipped with ‘sidelights’ to help the driver see when the machine moves sideways like a crab, making lateral translations. The sphere is quite rigid and is covered with rubber to get a good traction on most surfaces. A whole series of tests would be needed to choose the optimal material, surface pattern and internal pressure in the sphere. Maybe the propulsion system could use magnets embedded inside the sphere instead of rollers. The suspension could be part of the seat.

Because the driver needs to lean his body in the desired direction, handles are fixed to the front. The pilot grabs them and use footrest at the same time to ‘body steer‘ the Powesphere.

What it’s used for

Obviously this concept is still in the ideation phase, if you have some comments or would like to develop a basic prototype don’t hesitate to contact me.

The designer

The initial Powersphere concept was released on July 10, 2013. This is a second version created by Jan Bujnak, who is based in Slovakia and who graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Bratislava. Jan Bujnak also produced the images of the Night Car and the Otobuxi.