Do you remember the Self-Balancing Bicycle launched by Google in the United States of America, 3 years ago?
It claimed to auto-drive, auto-navigate, auto-detect and avoid obstacles. One could handle business, take calls and do whatever they want to do on them; because it did not need human supervision to balance and drive.
After coming across the video which showed the first-look of the bicycle, people were eager to get their hands on it.
However, soon they realized that Google pulled an April Fool Day prank on them. At the end of the video, Google gave a hint saying “available only on April 1st”.
The viewers had been cheated on, as the video was just an April Fool Day gift from Google. And in fact, the video was made to look very believable only by the help of impressive editing and video graphic skills.
The idea of self-balancing bicycles, if it works in real life could be a revolutionary one though. It is an amazing vision for future technology. There have been similar ideas of such an innovation, but they never got launched.
One such example is the JYRO bike, a self-balancing bicycle for children. This bicycle has front-wheel mounted with a gyroscope. So, if the body of the bike gets titled to a certain angle, it helps in automatically correcting the angle and keeping the bike stable.
This JYRO bike is self-balancing, so it is perfect for children that are cycling beginners. And once the child has learned cycling, the gyroscope that keeps the bike in place could be removed, turning the bicycle back into an ordinary one. The JYRO self-balancing bicycle was originally going to be launched in 2014, but the project got aborted for unknown reasons.
However, now the time of revolution has been set in motion!
A team at Tsinghua University, Beijing developed a bicycle that not only is self-balancing but has also been able to make all Americans’ dreams a reality.
The outside body of this bicycle needs some work like creative designs to make it look appealing. But the functions of this bicycle are unrivaled and unprecedented. They are as follows;
This auto-balancing bicycle can ride around all by itself and follow its owners around with its auto-tracking function.
It has voice-activator control in place, so it can take commands to turn, accelerate and decelerate.
It has auto-detectors so that it can avoid and steer around obstacles.
The bicycle’s ultimate function of staying balanced is achieved through the steering of the handlebars. When the sensors of the bike detect the body tilt, it accordingly auto-adjusts the angle of the handlebars. This precise system of keeping the bike in place has been developed by several school mentors and headmasters.
However, the fundamental motive of this whole project was to test the world’s first heterogeneous fusion brain chip that was developed by this team. And this bicycle actually is the carrier of this chip, called the Tianjic Chip.
Researchers are continually striving to develop artificial intelligence to build efficient models that have human-like functions. This Tianjic Chip also strives for the same purpose.
The Tianjic Chip brings together two different approaches to computing, the conventional one and the neurologically inspired one. It simplifies the data and combines both these architectures to run artificial network algorithms to achieve functions like that of the human brains, such as auto-balance, auto-drive, obstacle detection, and voice recognition features.
This innovation is a major milestone that has been achieved in the artificial intelligence field. The development of this chip and its celestial movement also appeared on the cover of Nature Magazine.
This research team developed a range of neural network algorithms to enhance its ability to do human tasks. These models have also been programmed on to the “Sky Movement”, and processed in parallel to each other to enable smooth, seamless on-chip communication between multiple models.
This is how, these extra-ordinary bicycles work and can perform all these intelligent functions of balancing, obstacle avoidance and automatic tracking.
The Road to the Future
When BMW introduced a self-driving electric motorcycle, after China developed this self-balancing bicycle, a lot of people started to question its practical use.
About a decade ago, when the 4G network was introduced and got popularized, how many people could think of this innovation and its use? But soon after it was launched, it allowed people to go out without paper money and to access the internet without having to plug in Wi-Fi network cables. At that time, no one thought beyond just the speed of transmission.
But now with the 5G era upon us, there is a reason to believe that it is not just about the speed of transmission, but this feature has more uses and properties, which we will realize as we get our hands on these upcoming innovations.
Similarly, the present-day self-balancing bicycles are not ideal for use yet, but technological change is still in progress. There will definitely be a revolution of self-balancing bicycles awaiting us that would actually be practical and would facilitate our daily lives.
The functions and uses of self-balancing bicycles are way more than we think. And on the day when this revolution actually arrives, maybe we will be able to suddenly figure them out?