The Star Wars prequels have stirred up a lot of things, but even if you loathe the most recent movies, we think you’ll enjoy the electric vehicle they inspired called EDWARD. The name stands for Electric Diwheel With Active Rotation Damping, and was developed by students at Adelaide University in southern Australia.
The students looked to similar electric monocycles, like the WheelSurf and Rocket Roadster, for further inspiration, but decided on a two-wheel design for their vehicle, which started to be assembled in 2009. Drivers are strapped into the center steering column, and control the unit with a joystick, however, movement is also supported by a stabilizing controller to make forward momentum easier.
Powered by a sealed lead acid batteries, EDWARD has a limited top speed of roughly 25 miles per hour, and has a usage time of about one hour, but the team says battery life may be extended by using the slosh control that stabilizes the vehicle.
We first caught news of the experimental transportation unit over on the hackaday blog, and honestly, you just have to see the device in action to really see how it moves. Lucky for you, the students have posted a highlight video, which we’re happy to share below: