Self-balancing motorcycle rolls on four custom-made omnidirectional wheels

James Bruton Omnidirectional Self-balancing Screw Bike
James Bruton's Screw Bike showcases innovative omnidirectional movement with custom-made Mecanum wheels, redefining electric motorcycle dynamics. Images courtesy James Bruton

In the realm of electric vehicles, innovation often manifests in forms that challenge traditional mobility concepts. A prime example of such creativity is found in the latest invention by British YouTuber James Bruton—an electric motorcycle known as the “Screw Bike.” This unique vehicle combines the concepts of self-balancing technology and omnidirectional movement, offering a novel approach to transportation.

James Bruton, known for his prolific YouTube channel, has a rich history of experimenting with self-balancing mechanisms and omnidirectional wheels. His projects have ranged from a self-balancing bicycle to various robot builds, all incorporating some form of advanced stabilization. The Screw Bike is not Bruton’s first attempt at creating a multidirectional motorcycle. He previously developed a prototype that featured large Omni-Wheels mounted at each end of the vehicle, enabling it to balance and move sideways efficiently. However, this earlier model lacked the capability for forward or backward motion.

In his continued pursuit of enhanced functionality, Bruton transitioned from Omni Wheels to Mecanum wheels for his latest project. Unlike Omni Wheels, which have rollers mounted sideways, Mecanum wheels feature rollers at diagonal angles, allowing for more dynamic movement options. Each of these wheels is driven by an electric motor via a toothed rubber belt, enabling precise control over the bike’s motion in any direction, including spinning in place.

The Screw Bike itself is a sight to behold. It features four custom-made Mecanum wheels, each 360 mm in diameter. Bruton had to fabricate these components himself, utilizing 3D printing technology, as no suitable pre-made options were available on the market. The wheels are mounted sideways primarily to assist with rapid self-balancing of the chassis.

James Bruton Omnidirectional Screw Bike
Move in any direction—forward, backward, sideways, diagonally, or even spin on the spot with this versatile setup.

For operation, the Screw Bike includes a set of rigid handlebars, a bench seat, and a distinctively quirky headlight. The bike balances itself when powered on, similar to how a Segway operates. Movement is initiated by the rider leaning in the desired direction. A twist throttle is incorporated to facilitate forward motion, while a switch on the handlebars allows for reverse movement. Additional controls enable the rider to rotate the bike on its axis, offering a complete range of motion that is rare in conventional motorcycles.

During his initial indoor test ride, Bruton expressed exhilaration with the bike’s performance, successfully navigating without incident. Subsequent trials in a more expansive outdoor setting, such as a car park, demonstrated the bike’s unusual ability to move, spin, and glide in various directions. Although it is not particularly fast, nor does it include a suspension system, the Screw Bike showcases a significant level of ingenuity and fun, highlighting Bruton’s skills as an inventor and builder.

James Bruton Omnidirectional Screw Bike Mecanum Wheels
For the Srew Bike, James Bruton opts for four aligned Mecanum wheels.

Recognizing the potential interest from fellow enthusiasts and builders, Bruton has generously open-sourced the CAD designs and software code for the Screw Bike, enabling others to replicate or modify his design. This openness not only fosters a community of like-minded individuals but also propels further innovation in the field of electric vehicles.

While the Screw Bike might not be poised for mass production due to its unconventional design and specialized use case, it stands as a testament to the creativity and technical skill that drive the DIY builder community. For those interested in the intersection of technology and bespoke vehicle design, James Bruton’s Screw Bike is a project worth following.

James Bruton Omnidirectional Screw Bike Testing
James Bruton tests his bizarre, self-balancing, omnidirectional Screw Bike.

Source: James Bruton