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Mechatronics Learning Studio


The SegBoard

Skander Souissi, Serge Renaud, Olivier Fauteux-Brault, Depsrtment of Mechanical Engineering, University of Ottawa



 The objective of this project is to build a one wheel skateboard that could go forward and backward with the help of a gyroscope and accelerometer by shifting weight on the board. We wanted to build something useful and fun for the user.

Circuit Design and Component

  The main electrical components of the circuit are: the open source motor controller, the arduino microcontroller, the gyroscope, and the DC motor (Brushless, 24 V, 0.70 Hp, 4000 rpm). The main mechanical components are:  go kart wheel, bearing, sprockets, chain, hubs, axel, steel sheet metal (frame) and angle irons. Since the logic of our project is too complicated, we had no choice than use programming instead of logic gates.


The board does not start until it is leveled first. If you tip too far the motor will automatically stop and will not restart until it is leveled again. The Segboard is rechargeable. If you lean forward the board will advance and the same if you wish to go backwards with the speed as a function of the tilt angle.

Problems Encountered

For certain reasons we are not able to connect both batteries to the OSMC without causing fire or smoke so we still have some investigation to do in order to identify the reason. As a result, our motor does not have enough power to move with an adult on it but it does have enough to level itself.

As for the calibration and getting the board to level itself out the chain is still a little loose resulting in less accurate response from the motor. Also, since our board has to be level before being operational this small window is not included in the response resulting in jerks instead of a smooth motion.

A top and a sideview of the segboard. The top has been removed to show the inside.

What we Learned?

In general, we learned a lot about mechatronics, how to weld, solder, and program a microcontroller.


When we started this project, we knew it was a great challenge and we did not want to make a small scale project. We aimed a useful project that covers most of the mechatronics elements ( mechanical, electrical, software). We implemented a lot of logic through software so the user will not have to press any button to start the board and the board will be safe to use. We are convinced that the Segboard will be more pleasant to ride if we make it lighter (alluminum frame) and implement a stronger motor ( more Watts or HP ) but we were limited in funds.

Related Work

                The one wheel skateboard is an original idea of Ben Smither ( We based our project on the principle of the segway ( and we inspired ourselves from the two-wheel scooter for both the design and the coding. We also based part of our concept on Smither's project( ) who built a 4 wheel skateboard as a final project. Since we were working for the first time with the arduino microcontroller, we received a lot of help from the arduino community (