Check Out this Uncanny Self-Balancing RC Ducati Panigale V4

The world of RC motorcycles is awash with bikes that can balance themselves in motion, but few can actually balance themselves when they’re standing still. This Upriser Ducati Panigale V4 S can, though, and it’s kind of weird and wonderful to watch.

The system works thanks to a set of small wheels on the bigger back motorcycle-wheel. The smaller wheels’ axis is perpendicular to the bigger one’s, so they can move the bike side to side which keeps it balanced.

The inspiration for this came from an airport. According to Gizmodo, Daryl Tearne, an industrial designer at Spin Master (which makes the toy), was watching the ground crew at LAX load a cargo plane when he became fascinated by one of their machines.

Like the toy that it would eventually inspire, the loading machine had small wheels that could move in more than one direction, allowing heavy cargo to move in nearly any direction.

Still, that seed of an idea took five years to become the Ducati you see in the video above.

The eventual result was a wheel with 16 smaller wheels on its perimeter. Each wheel is connected to a rotation encoder that can detect even the smallest movements, measure that against an accelerometer, and make the bike stand up as if by magic.

Not only can it balance on two wheels, though, it can also balance itself on one. That means that it can hold a wheelie nearly indefinitely.

According to the video above, taken at the Toy Fair 2019 in New York, the Upriser Ducati can hit 15 mph. Unfortunately, its price reflects just how neat the toy is, so you’ll need to shell out $150 to get one of your own.

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