ATmega1280 powers this Raleigh Chopper-inspired, self-balancing scooter

A Maker by the name of “XenonJohn” has devised a self-balancing scooter inspired by the famous Raleigh Chopper bike of the 1970s. After recently constructing a number of heavyweight (and a bit) dangerous one-wheeled machines, the Hackaday Prize semi-finalist sought out to build a more fun, lightweight model more along the lines of a bicycle.


To get the idea rolling, XenonJohn utilized an Arduino Mega (ATmega1280) to serve the brain, along with 24V brushed motors to power the di-wheel. In addition, the Maker turned to a SparkFun digital IMU, a Sabertooth 2 x 25 amp motor power controller, and a LiFePO4 Headway battery pack to round out the mechanics.


The ATmega1280 based Arduino receives inputs via I2C from the SparkFun IMU which contains both accelerometers and gyroscopes. Turn switches are connected to the brake levers on the handlebars, which control the left and right steering (“throttle” on left handlebar controls acceleration and slowing down). The Mega then transmits commands to the 25 amp Sabertooth motor controllers to help the rider maintain balance.

Want to learn more? Scroll on over to the project’s official Instructables page here.

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