By this time, we have seen many applications of artificial intelligence (AI) technologies in almost every field. However, when it comes to AI systems for vehicles, we often talk about the development of autonomous cars. Although major companies are using AI technologies for self-driving vehicles, few researchers and developers teach AI to ride bicycles.
AI-powered Autonomous Bicycle
A team of engineers from Huawei recently developed a fully autonomous bicycle that takes advantage of AI technology, high-precision sensors, and many cameras to ride itself. The chief engineer, Zhihui Jun, got the idea when he suffered a major accident while riding his bike.
After his accident, Jun decided it was time to develop a bicycle that could ride autonomously without any human intervention. The engineers started by creating a detailed CAD model of the autonomous bicycle. Then he added various components to control the speed of the bike.
The team added two brushless motors and a steering gear to control the faucet. They also installed an RGBD depth sensor, accelerometer, gyroscope, and LiDAR sensor. There is also a 6S model Airplane Power battery onboard, which can last the bike for 2-3 hours. The primary computing module, the “brain” of the cycle, sits under the seat and above the rear wheel.
Coming to the computing module, it is entirely designed by Jun. He used the company’s application orchestration service to develop Huawei’s Ascend 310 and modules as AI processors. So, thanks to Jun’s work, the AI bike is now capable of intelligent thinking and decision-making.
In addition, engineers built a particular control module to ensure that the bicycle could maintain its balance on its own and not fall. The module uses the rotational moment of the disc, which is the same system used by artificial satellites. A small, high-precision sensor detects tilt and sends data to the Attitude Control Module, which ensures that the bike stands on its own. Plus, there’s an integrated motor attached to the rear wheels. Allows the motorcycle to move without pedals.
You can watch Zhihui Jun’s video below, in which he describes the journey of developing an AI bicycle. However, keep in mind that the entire video is in Chinese. So don’t forget to turn on captions on YouTube.