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January 5, 2009

Coolest. Eco. Toy. Ever. (of course, like all other cool eco vehicles, you can’t buy it). The Uno Electric Motorcycle.

Excerpt:

Many students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology look forward to the day they’ll make headlines with an extraordinary invention. But Ben Gulak, a 19-year-old freshman, looks back. He’s the inventor of the Uno, an electric motorcycle that has its two wheels side by side instead of fore and aft, balances using a computer and gyroscope, and maneuvers with a shift of the rider’s body forward, back or sideways…

…initially for a science fair, began assembling a prototype from conventional motorcycle parts. The project, he says, allowed him to “mesh two passions” — engineering and motorcycles. As he describes it, the early effort — replete with burning motors — resembled the scenes in the movie “Iron Man” when a rocket-propelled suit goes out of control. Mr. Gulak got help from a robotics engineer, Trevor Blackwell, and added systems that stabilize the vehicle.

Since then, he has won a heap of accolades — Popular Science chose the bike as one of the top 10 inventions of the year and featured it on the cover; Mr. Gulak made an appearance on “The Tonight Show” — as well as the interest of investors.

But for now he’s seeking international patents, and dealing with exams…

For the rest…Read and weep (’cause you can’t ride one). 

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