Imagine a combination Segway and Hummer built from parts in your garage... It fits TWO people! I started this project while I was still in high school in 2006, so please forgive any awful design choices made because I was too young to understand ;) In fact, when our high school robotics team got a chance to go to the world championships, Dean Kamen saw our Humway and even signed the top plate!
Some punk riding it ;)
Operation was quite simple, just stand on the super wide top plate, plug in the deadman's switch, and use the limit switches to steer.
The picture above shows the main organization of the project. The whole thing is really wide because there are two drill motors end to end each connected to a shaft coupler, two bearings, and an RV tire wheel at the end. Power is supplied by two 12V sealed lead acid batteries, supplying a pair of OSMC motor controllers which drive the vehicle. The CPU electronics above are hijacked from the US First robotics competition hardware, but the version in the videos above has that hardware replaced with a custom PIC 18 on a perfboard.
The Dewalt 24V drill motors we used were pretty powerful things, I think peaking at about 1.5HP each. Unfortunately, they have a very non standard output shaft, and this required a lot of extra hardware to mount and attach them to our wheels. We didn't have access to a machine shop, so it was a requirement to do everything cheaply and without custom parts.
The final software was just a simple filter to combine the gyroscope and accelerometer data into a reliable angle and angular rate measurement. After that, a PID loop controller the acceleration of the motors based on the angle data. I think the source code is somewhere on an old laptop that I can't find right now, but I will post it when I get a chance to look for it.
Inspired by Trevor Blackwell's two segway projects, we started by making a simple frame using electronics from the FIRST competition my friends and I were a part of. We ended up using way underpowered motors and gearboxes and our first version wasn't too... "robust" let's say:
Securely attach wheels to shaft, securely!