On April Fool’s Day in 2016, Google secretly uploaded a video of an autonomous bicycle roaming through the busy streets. Two days after the post went viral, Google clarified that it was actually the result of superb video editing.
Five years later, Zhi Hui Jun, a vlogger from Beijing with more than 800,000 fans, spent four months (mainly on weekends) making the joke into a reality. Zhi Hui Jun had self-designed a complex automatic control system for the bike to run smoothly. He also installed a set of hardware networks composed of sensors and a chip with sufficient computing power, in addition to implementing a set of customized perception and control algorithms.
As revealed by CAD modeling, Zhi Hui Jun’s manless bicycle is equipped with two larger brushless motors and a steering gear, which are used to drive the car to move and keep the balance. In terms of sensors, the car is equipped with an RGBD depth camera, accelerometer, gyroscope, and a LiDAR to detect the surrounding environment and the car’s condition; the battery uses a 6S model power lithium battery (2~3 battery hours of battery life); the main control computing module is mounted behind the seat. Zhihui Jun used a combination of 3D printing and machine tool processing to get the required hardware parts.
Interested readers can get a glimpse of the project here.