I bought an Arduino Uno and was planning on building a balancing Robot. I was really impressed with the Balancing Skate Board that was published by Xenon John. It had most of the code that I would need to build a balancing something. That something evolved from a Robot to a Sit Down Segway clone, which I named the SITWAY. I want to at this time thank John for all the help and patience he showed me in building and testing this ible.
This is my second project involving a discarded electric wheel chair. The motors have great torque and are very reliable. They use 24 volts and have great range using two U1 type garden tractor batteries. You can't go any cheaper than that.
The build went pretty smoothly. Thankfully Xenon John pitched in and helped me modify his code to work with my wheel chair motors.
After running all the tests I felt were needed I elected to have a young neighbor take the first ride. It turned out to be a real blast. So far eight or ten people have ridden it, the youngest being 12, and the oldest 81 (me). The training wheels limit the speed by limiting the forward tilt. I plan to keep the rear training wheels on permanently because I don't need a lot o speed going backwards.
The SITWAY appears to be pretty safe, but it does not have all the built in backup systems that a real Segway has, I have only tested it on my smooth driveway at this time. I have driven over small objects, and it still stayed stable..Any one can learn to drive it in about 5 or10 minutes. With all the testing and driving we have done I have yet had to charge the batteries. The original wheel chair had a published range of 20 miles.. HAVE FUN!!!
Step 1: MATERIALS AND COSTS
Item Source Cost
1. Donor electric wheelchair Various places $50 to $200 Depending on condition
2. Arduino Uno Maker Store $30
3. Arduino Uno Proto-shield Spark Fun $15
4. 5 degrees of freedom IMU Spark Fun $49
5. Sabertooth 2X25 Dimension Engineering $129
6. Two surface mount LED's Radio Shack $1.29
7. Two Momentary contact switch's (trim) Radio Shack $1.29
8. Two micro switches for Steering Radio Shack $3
9. Single pole single throw power switch Radio Shack $1
10 13X20X1/4" plate for base Local $10
11. 1/2" steel tubing for seat frame Local $10
12. Vinyl and foam for seat Local $4
13. Asst hook up wire Local $3
14. One can spray paint Local $3
Total $309 to $459
(note) I actually bought my used wheelchair for $35 at a yard sale
It was pretty beat up but the motors were good and even included
A 24 volt charger.My project cost less than $300.