Ryno Motors partners with WSU-Vancouver
By Lee van der Voo, Sustainable Business Oregon
Sustainable Business Oregon
Portland-based Ryno Motors, creator of a one-wheeled electric-powered vehicle has teamed with Washington State University in Vancouver to test the product's endurance in its ramp-up to production.
The partnership gives Ryno a final round of safety testing before producing the flagship micro-cycle, a cross between a unicycle and a Segway. It also gives five students from Washington State University's engineering department a hands-on opportunity to improve emerging transportation technology.
"I have been exceptionally impressed by the detailed analysis, design innovation, and professionalism of this team," said Christopher Hoffmann, CEO of Ryno Motors. "We created the micro-cycle in response to concerns about growing urban density and environmental preservation, so this is not only an opportunity for these students to solve a real-world engineering problem, but to see how their work has far-reaching social impact as well."
Ryno is currently raising about $1.6 million to leap from prototype to production with the micro-cycle. It's the first commercial venture for company, which launched in 2009 with an eye on cost-competitive, energy-efficient personal transportation products.
The micro-cycle uses a unique one-wheel design to target scooter and recreational riders, motorcycle enthusiasts and the security and law enforcement community in campus-styled settings. The vehicle is considered compact enough to navigate dense urban settings, but also has a range of 30 miles. It has a top speed of 20 miles an hour and can recharge in an hour and a half.
Hoffmann said he got the idea for the product from his daughter, who saw a one-wheeled motorcycle in a video game. He thought building it could be a personal challenge, and suited his background, which includes mechanical engineering in the Detroit auto industry and forays into electronics development and invention.
Lee van der Voo, lvdvoo*at*gmail.com, is a freelance writer for Sustainable Business Oregon.
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