Meet EDWARD, a novel vehicle called a diwheel that allows a driver to travel in a conventional upright position and, for the more adventurous, in an upside down position. The diwheel consists of two large coaxial wheels that completely encompass an inner frame containing a driver. The inner frame is suspended within the wheels in such a way as to allow the inner frame to rotate freely.
The University of Adelaide's diwheel, affectionately known as EDWARD (short for Electric Diwheel With Active Rotation Damping), employs the latest drive-by-wire technology (used in modern aircraft) and control theory to aid the driver in piloting the vehicle. Such technology prevents the inner frame from rotating (sloshing back and forth) during operation, an inherent property that has limited the drivability of previous diwheels.
Read more in the August 2011 issue of Popular Mechanics – on sale on 25 July.