Self Balancing segway style scooter for under 300.00


Self Balancing segway style scooter for under 300.00

I've always wanted a Segway from the first day I saw one, but with the over 6000.00 price tag I couldn't afford one. Thankfully the parts required have come down in price dramatically. I managed to build one for under 300.00. 
here is a list of the most important parts.

1x2" square steel on eBay but mine was scrap we got for free.

Sabertooth 2X25 motor controller from

electric mobility scooter motors ours are from the Jazzy electric chair the sell for 100-150.00 on eBay

5DOF IMU we got from eBay for 25.00

Sealed lead acid batteries 12v from eBay or from hardware store 

Thumb Joystick from spark-fun 3.95

various switches and 10k potentiometers 5.00 from radio shack

code from sci chair instructable

schematic from sci chair instructable

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davelayde dice: Jun 8, 2014. 11:16 AM

can you make a tutorial with coding and stuff?

fozz18 dice: Jun 9, 2014. 6:28 PM

the code is provided. its easy to break down and modify.

jwalter007 dice: Jun 2, 2014. 1:40 PM

Is the UB1250 12volt 5ah battery shown in your pic the battery that you actually used? I am using those & mine seems severely under powered and looses charge within a few minutes. My bats are new. My motors are the same as yours.

theradioman dice: May 6, 2014. 8:06 AM

looking at your diagram this design would not work......think you might have the batteries wired up incorrectly

fozz18 dice: May 6, 2014. 11:34 AM

ya the original author of the picture did that. however most people realize this ahead of time when their building and so far hasnt been an issue

shomas dice: May 21, 2014. 8:37 AM

Just to be clear, seeing as the Sabertooth dual 25A motor driver at maximum can draw 100 amps for a few seconds and 50 amps continuously, and that each battery could supply more than 100 amps, I suspect that the batteries should be wired in series for 24V operation as opposed to wired in parallel for 12V for unnecessary more amperage.

davelayde dice: May 4, 2014. 5:24 AM
Can it turn while standing still?
jwalter007 dice: Abr 17, 2014. 1:50 PM

What was your source for wheels? If no source available, can you give the dimensions of the ones you have used?

fozz18 dice: Abr 17, 2014. 4:01 PM
Ebay. Kids quad wheels
jwalter007 dice: Abr 19, 2014. 4:03 AM

Are they about 14" Diameter?

DR4296 dice: Abr 17, 2014. 7:50 AM

So, if I go hunting locally for electric wheelchairs to use as parts to build something like this... do I just need to be sure to find an electric wheelchair that has TWO motors and gearboxes? And then raid that also for the batteries and any battery charger the owner might still have?

I vaguely recall reading something elsewhere that said not all electric wheelchairs have two motors; apparently, some get by with a single motor.

I'm kind of curious as to why in most tutorials like this, people are buying the motors, batteries, and any battery charger all separately. ?? As I look over Craigslist and local thrift-stores and estate sales.... just casually... at electric wheelchairs.... seems like for $350-500, I might be able to get an entire used electric wheelchair, with charger.

(I don't know much about dealing with motors, controllers, and electronics like this.)

My goal is to actually build something like this... but it doesn't HAVE to be self-balancing. In fact, I'd like one or two more non-motorized wheels. I want to incorporate it INSIDE a Halloween costume.

habaha1981 dice: Abr 13, 2014. 8:15 PM
hey sschnack the thick red wire and the thick black wire are the ones you need positive and negative. the other two wires are just for the brake. You must take the brake off for this application. just unscrew the black cap off the end of the motor where the wires go in and unscrew the brake assembly from the motor.
sschnack dice: Mar 30, 2014. 11:09 AM

Hi, I bought the Jazzy electric chair motors and having trouble finding documentation. There are four wires: red, black, white, and yellow. My guess is red=power, black=ground, white=power brake when 0V, and yellow=?. I am pretty intimidated by these motors so any information and advice I would really appreciate. Thank you so much for posting!

ciuvauva dice: Mar 9, 2014. 2:45 PM

Hi, very nice

can you tell power rating and voltage rating of jazzy electric motors. From schematics looks like they are 24V . serial battery connection(but you have to swap one battery)

fozz18 dice: Mar 3, 2014. 1:12 PM

the analog imu's are getting harder to find all the current ones are digitial. I tried to get a programmer to modify the code but they want over a thousand to do it.

ihart dice: Mar 14, 2014. 7:13 AM

Hi fozz18,

I posted a Segway clone Instructable using a $3 digital IMU. All the code is there. It also uses the less expensive Saber controller. Check it out if interested.

andinh dice: Feb 12, 2014. 2:27 PM

hi, the 5DOF IMU now is too expensive, can we used others instead?

bremus dice: Mar 3, 2014. 1:04 PM

I'd think one of the flight control boards used for quad copters could be used. They have 3 axis gyro and accelerators

khyram dice: Dic 31, 2014. 1:11 AM
can i ask the maximum speed of this diy segway!? thanks
fozz18 dice: Oct 14, 2013. 5:32 PM
i just designed a printed board that has the imu and plugs for the handlebar controls. Any interest I could ship in the next couple weeks
CUSTOMIZER dice: Sep 3, 2013. 6:25 AM
PROBELM SOLVED, i had to reverse the motor wires only.

now it balances perfectly but i cant stand on it. there is not enugh power to keep me balanced on it.

do you have any idea how to fix that ?
fozz18 dice: Sep 3, 2013. 7:49 AM
i need more info about the specs
CUSTOMIZER dice: Sep 23, 2013. 4:17 PM
Im using 2x24V 250w scooter motors

and scooter sprockets for the tires

And using the same sensor and code as you without changing anything
fozz18 dice: Oct 6, 2013. 9:26 AM
do you have a picture of your assembled drive? Ideally very small sprocket with the largest drive gear (wheel side) that you can fit that would give you the most torque. the gearing of a pocket bike would be perfect the sprocket is tiny thus plenty of power also. mebe larger motors instead of 250watt mebe 350 watt should also help
fozz18 dice: Oct 6, 2013. 9:27 AM
That is also the reason I recommended wheelchair motors they are a worm gear drive that is VERY powerful
CUSTOMIZER dice: Oct 6, 2013. 2:47 PM
I'm using a pocket bikes tiny gears on the 250w motors and the drive gear on a 16" bicycle wheels.
Can I increase the tourqe from the code? If yes, can you show me how?

I will upload a pic for the drive later

CUSTOMIZER dice: Oct 1, 2013. 5:11 PM
Do you have any idea ?
CUSTOMIZER dice: Sep 1, 2013. 2:15 PM
im working with the same IMU. I really dont know what is the best position to place the imu. and i tried alot but i cant make it balance. when i tilt start it the wheel run very fast in the same direction.
and did you make any changes "adjustments" in the code for the new IMU?
please Help
lil+buck dice: Jul 20, 2013. 9:16 AM
Where did you buy it?
fozz18 dice: Jul 20, 2013. 10:07 AM
regular uno purchased on ebay
lil+buck dice: Jul 20, 2013. 9:14 AM
Arduino UNO R3 Demoboard ?
lil+buck dice: Jul 20, 2013. 8:47 AM
What Arduino interface did you use?
fozz18 dice: Jul 20, 2013. 9:06 AM
arduino uno
lil+buck dice: Jul 19, 2013. 2:46 PM
what did you use for the handle bars?
fozz18 dice: Jul 20, 2013. 8:09 AM
I used mountain bike handle bars and stem and ran the wires within the bars themselves
MrMintts dice: Jul 4, 2013. 10:41 PM
Hello guys, does anyone where to get those black tire/motor hub adapters? Thank you.
fozz18 dice: Jul 5, 2013. 6:52 AM
I just drilled and tapped holes on the original rims and used them as hubs . Worked pretty well
ihart dice: Jun 20, 2013. 8:55 AM
Nice Project! I believe that you have a simple error in your schematic. One of the battery polarities needs to be swapped. (+ <-> -)
DBender dice: Jun 9, 2013. 12:20 PM
hello friend, where can I get the schematic electric?, you used Arduino interface as master? tchank you.
fozz18 dice: Jun 9, 2013. 1:14 PM
eyhseow dice: May 13, 2013. 12:53 AM

The gain is set at 0.5, if I were to set higher, the scooter will wobble alot. I am using the same IMU as you. My Ardunino is powered through the sabertooth and voltage is keep above 22v.

Please see the video clip :

Thank you so much
fozz18 dice: May 14, 2013. 7:18 AM
make sure the imu is 3.3v and the arduino is 12v not 22v
fozz18 dice: May 10, 2013. 8:31 AM
also don't forget that the gain knob must be adjusted for it to be stable, I played with mine for a while until it became just right
eyhseow dice: May 9, 2013. 1:49 AM
Hi All

My self-balancing likes to move left and right and doesn’t stay still in one position. Anywhere in the code where I can change to make it stay still?
Please help. Thanks.
fozz18 dice: May 14, 2013. 7:20 AM
I'm using an xbox joystick that has self centering potentiometers. you can find one on spark fun
eyhseow dice: May 2, 2013. 8:22 PM
Dear Sir

Would you advise any code to add in the program to prevent the scooter from flying off if it tilt too much?

fozz18 dice: May 10, 2013. 8:29 AM
you must make sure that the arduino is properly powered, if its to low it causes erratic behavior.
fozz18 dice: Abr 29, 2013. 8:11 AM
also check that the battery has enough current to properly power the unit if its too weak it will also have the same issue. The reaction time is actually very fast and should correct itself quickly.
eyhseow dice: Abr 29, 2013. 2:15 AM
Dear Sir
I had started on building but encountered some problems.

1. When I tilted the scooter too much, it will fly off. Is there any code in the program to prevent the scooter from flying off if it is tilt too much?
2. When the scooter fly off, it took quite a bit of time to ‘recover’ to it balancing position if I were to tilt it to the opposite direction. Anywhere in the code where I can change to have the scooter tilt back faster?

fozz18 dice: Abr 29, 2013. 4:45 AM
Check the battery that is powering the arduino. When my battery gets low the reaction gets sluggish and has the same issue your running into.
inouye dice: Abr 18, 2013. 7:59 PM
What is the power rating of those motors? Nice and compact.
fozz18 dice: Abr 18, 2013. 8:17 PM
they are jazzy electric wheelchair motors
rimar2000 dice: Abr 9, 2013. 4:54 PM
Excellent work, congratulations.
fozz18 dice: Abr 9, 2013. 10:13 AM
I set it to be slow during testing because the electronics were exposed and still being tested. In the next week the final design will have a video added to this instructable. Also Keep checking back I have a different model that I'm waiting for a few parts before I can build it. That should be allot faster.
vjdjchadisrad dice: Ago 12, 2013. 12:15 AM
How long do you get out of your two .5 Amp Hour batteries?
fozz18 dice: Ago 12, 2013. 8:42 AM
1-1.5 hours depending on if its concrete, grass, gravel. I could have put larger batteries and may still will, it was the fact that these were the most inexpensive at the time
%21KnexMaster%21 dice: Abr 9, 2013. 7:12 AM
It looks very slow :/

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Abr 8, 2013



segway self balancing