Elektor’s OSPV1 (Open Source People Vehicle) is the lighter and more stylish successor of the highly successful ElektorWheelie. For a limited time only, the OSPV1 is offered at a reduced price. So if you have been considering buying one, now’s the time! The OSPV1 comes assembled and ready for use (barring a good battery charge, of course!).
Special offer untill July 31, 2011:
Normal price: $1570
Limited time offer: $1425
Prices include taxes; excluding shipping charges (to be determined). Supply time: 3-4 weeks
Elektor’s OSPV1 at a glance:
It’s for indoors
You decide where you want to travel with the OSPV1, but it is designed for indoor use (subject to local regulations). It’s not especially well suited for negotiating bumps or uneven surfaces, since it has a ground clearance of just two cm. The two wheels, which have a diameter of 14 cm (5.5"), are far enough apart to keep you well balanced, but they do not provide much clearance for driving over thresholds or other types of bumps. However, it drives like a charm on any type of flat floor – including factory floors and office and school corridors. The rider stands with both feet outside the wheels. Stepping onto the OSPV1 takes a bit of practice, but thanks to the low centre of gravity it feels very stable.
Easy to steer
Once you have your feet positioned properly, all you have to do to get the OSPV1 rolling is to lean forwards or backwards. With the ElektorWheelie you move the steering column to the left or right to negotiate curves, but with the OSPV1 a small joystick is used for this. The vehicle responds immediately to joystick movements, so it’s easy to perform pirouettes and other elegant maneuvers. In fact, it would be right at home in a ballroom. The attitude of the OSPV1 is saved when it is switched on and is subsequently used as a reference, so you should ensure that the steps are level (horizontal) during this process.
It’s Light and Portable
The OSPV1 is designed to be taken apart easily, so it can be stowed conveniently in the trunk of a car. It’s also relatively light. It weighings just 25 kgs. The pivot and fixing point is on the steering column, which comes apart after you loosen two wing nuts. Many will be inspired to apply your creativity to this and perhaps come up with a smarter and easier solution. You’re welcome to do so – the OSPV1 is very amenable to simple modifications.
It’s Open Source
The nice thing about the OSPV1 is that you can configure or modify it to suit your needs. The electronics are the same as in the ElektorWheelie, the software is freely available, and the software can be modified to alter the handling characteristics. Everyone who has been involved in developing extensions for the ElektorWheelie can also use them with the OSPV1. The schematic diagrams, PCB design and source code listing are all available on the Elektor website. The OSPV1 is supplied with a charger for the two 12-V rechargeable batteries, which have a capacity of 9 Ah.
Uses of OSPV1
The OSPV1 is primarily intended for moving people, but it doesn’t have to be limited to that. A variety of other uses are conceivable, ranging from an electric wheelbarrow to a handy motorised shopping cart. This is where the advantages of the open source approach come to the fore. Everyone is free to work on the design and turn it into something special. As already mentioned, it is intended for indoor use. As for street use, we should point out that using vehicles such as this on the street is subject to rules and regulations, which may vary from country to country. There’s also an upper limit on the rider’s weight; anything up to 85 kgs is perfectly OK. Finally, you should give some thought to body protection – after all, you’re riding on a moving vehicle.