# Can a Segway do a Loop-de-Loop?

Speaking of Loop de Loops:

A few (several) years ago, a really smart guy I knew told me of a stunt motorcycle dude who approached him about doing a loop - on a track like a roller coaster - on a unicycle! He apparently showed him, mathematically, how it was impossible to do that. The torque on the wheel would automatically slam the nitwit into the track headfirst.

``Anyway, with souped up Segway, do you think the gyro could stabilize the thing through a loop?``

I can’t see how you would get up enough speed on a unicycle.

I’m sure the ‘applied mathematics’ people out there could work out how fast you would need to go for various radii of loops.

The original unicycle was to be powered. There was one in the 70’s that had a motor actually in the wheel itself, IIRC. I don’t know if that was the one to be used, though.

Chalkpit, I think what Dragline meant is, does the gyroscope that keeps the Segway level exert enough force to keep the thing level as you go up the slope, so (assuming you hit the Hot Wheels loop o’ track at 6 o’clock, going counterclockwise), when you get to 3 o’clock, are you still vertical (as you smack face-first into the right side of the loop), or is your head still at the center of the loop with the Segway now going straight up?

I’m guessing the former. It might be possible to pump it up to full speed, then cut power and coast through the loop…

Sorry, no idea what a Segway is, so I concentrated on the unicycle part.

Pls enlighten me.

I don’t think the Segway design will work and could only be made to work with with extensive modifications to the stabilization logic. Let’s say for argument’s sake we build a hot rod Segway with sufficient power. When you perform a inside loop, with your hot wheels car or your Extra 300S aerobatic plane you will feel positive G all through the maneuver. That is to say a glass of water in the cupholder will not spill even though an outsider observer sees it as upside down at the top of the loop. I’ve seen such a film takenin the cabin of Bob Hoover’s Shrike Aero Commander during loops and barrel rolls, pretty interesting.

Problem is the Segway is stabilized with gyros which don’t work like a pendulum system. As you go through the looping track the gyro will maintain the same “up” as the outside oberver, not the “up” you feel from the centrifgual force of the loop. Our intrepid test pilot is going to do a rather unpleasant face plant.

If you had a system that allowd the Segway to know what the slope of the ground was and programmed it to follow that you might make it.