How to build your own self balancing scooter

Since many people have expressed interest in how to build their own self-balancing scooter (like the one I built here), I thought I'd finally get around to putting up at least a preliminary set of instructions to help you get started with building your own. First, some things you should be aware of concerning home-built self-balancing scooters:

  • They are almost definitely not going to be as good as a true Segway®. But don't let that discourage you! It is possible to come very close to the same level of quality, but Segway invested millions of dollars in design and a true Segway costs ~$5,000. This is a case of "you get what you pay for"; though a $500 home-built one can easily be more than 1/10th of the quality of the real deal.
  • They do requiring tuning the control software, though the TiltyIMU control boards make it so you can do this without programming and will walk you through the process.
  • The $500 I spent building my scooter is near the low end of the price range. Many of the parts in mine were purchased used in order to keep costs down, but it is possible to go cheaper.

Now that you can know roughly what to expect, let's move on to part selection.