Have you seen this guy? Maybe you’ve seen him speeding up to Holloway Commons (HoCo), or zig-zagging through college woods. So effortlessly does he glide through campus, you may think he’s floating. His name is Mehdi El-Azouzi and the piece of machinery he uses for this smooth and convenient campus travel is his Ninebot One.
Now a senior pre-med major, Mehdi originally came from Morocco to study at UNH. His interest in mechanics and alternate energy offers an explanation to his desire to attend grad-school for mechanical engineering. He said that he has always been attracted to eco-friendly modes of transportation, and one day saw a YouTube advertisement for a similar product to the Ninebot One, which was called the Airwheel X5, designed by someone in London.
This advanced device instantly caught El-Azouzi’s attention. He said he remembers thinking, “This is the future,” and purchased one. He spent one year riding the Airwheel X5 until he utterly destroyed it. However, he took great care when researching the Ninebot One.
His idol, the co-founder, CEO and product architect of Tesla Motors, Elon Musk, has a vision to change humanity through alternate energy in transportation. The concept of the Ninebot One appealed to El-Azouzi because of the powerful electrical motor it has that can reach speeds up to 12 mph and cover distances up to 20 miles on a single charge.
The Ninebot One is an intelligent, self-balanced, personal transportation device that turns heads everywhere one goes with it. A trend-setter, the Ninebot One harnesses innovative technologies with thoughtful design. It contains a high-speed central processing unit and a precise gyroscope that achieves high sensitivity in physical feedback. Ninebot One users can be propelled faster than the average jogger with the help of its sleek, high-powered 16-inch-electromotor working with an advanced sine wave inverter technology.
The Ninebot One includes an anti-theft mechanism that, when triggered, will set an alarm off with sounds and lights, and will even send a notification via the product’s mobile app. An intelligent safety warning system with touch, light and sound monitors will keep track of the vehicle’s status and riding conditions.
When El-Azouzi first brought his Ninebot One to campus, the attention he received was overwhelming. He said that everywhere he went he could feel the gaze of dozens of students and faculty.
“Every day I used it to get to every class, sometimes, the attention was just too much and I eventually settled to use it only for long distances,” he said.
The use of his Ninebot One led to a variety of peculiar encounters. He recalls a moment when a clown wanted to know where to get one, so he could use it for his next act. Also, he once got pulled over by a police officer on a Segway who was making siren sounds with his voice; he thought he was getting into trouble but the police officer simply wanted to see what El-Azouzi was riding.
But the pinnacle of his experience with the Ninebot One was when El-Azouzi left it in the lobby of a library and it was mistaken for a bomb. The library was evacuated and El-Azouzi had to go to the police station to retrieve it.
“They mistook my electric unicycle for a bomb. And you could only imagine the reactions I received at the police station when I showed up and they saw I was Arabic,” he said in a joking manner.
El-Azouzi said he has an idea on how to implement these personal transportation devices into society. Similar to bicycle rental systems that are sprouting up in major cities around the world, he believes a similar system with electric unicycles would help divert the population from fossil fuels and promote a more eco-friendy society.

Executive Editor