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Awesome tech you can’t buy yet: Rideables, almond milkers, and robo-arms

At any given moment, there are approximately a zillion crowdfunding campaigns on the web. Take a visual stroll through Kickstarter or Indiegogo, and you’ll find no shortage of weird, useless, and downright stupid projects out there — alongside some real gems. In this column, we cut through all the worthless wearables and Oculus Rift ripoffs to round up the week’s most unusual, ambitious, and exciting projects. But don’t grab your wallet just yet. Keep in mind that any crowdfunded project can fail — even the most well-intentioned. Do your homework before cutting a check for the gadget of your dreams.

Solowheel Iota — self-balancing rideable

If you needed any more proof that we’re in the midst of a revolution in personal transportation, check out the Solowheel Iota; yet another self-balancing, electrically powered, awesome piece of rideable technology. It’s from the same guy that invented the Hovertrax (the original “hoverboard”), and the original Solowheel (one of the first self-balancing unicycles), and is smaller and more portable than any of his previous creations.  With 8-inch wheels and a weight of only 8 lbs., the Solowheel Iota promises to be the smallest, greenest, and most convenient vehicle of its kind.

“The Solowheel Iota is the next logical extension of the genius of Shane Chen’s original Solowheel self-balancing unicycle people mover,” Claude Rorabaugh, Inventist’s chief product evangelist, told Digital Trends in an interveiw. “It is smaller and lighter than its predecessors, but has many of the attribute that made the original Solowheel a global success. Ideally this can be toted within carry-on airline baggage and can travel with you anywhere in the world. From going to school, moving across the airport terminal, or as a people mover in a warehouse or large factory, the Iota fits well anywhere.”

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