Meet the Honda U3-X, the curious new personal mobility device from the Japanese car maker.
Looking more like a mutant stereo than a funky new transporter, the one-person unicycle-like scooter is designed for pootling around the office, getting around the house (who lives in a house that big?!) and for scooting along pavements, while laughing and pointing and sweaty walkers.
The mini-Segway-style personal passenger vehicle uses an electric motor designed to provide free movement in all direction, with navigation, acceleration and braking achieved by shifting body weight.
It sure looks cool in the video, but we’re not sure how it would cope if you’re carrying a couple of shopping bags stuffed full of Lidl’s cheap beer, or if you are – shall we say – a little bit American sized.
Here’s Honda’s press release with all the details. We’d love to try one out – imagine the chortles to be had driving back from the pub on this thing!
Honda has developed a new personal mobility technology, U3-X. It is a compact experimental device that fits comfortably between the rider’s legs, to provide free movement in all directions just as in human walking – forward, backward, side-to-side, and diagonally. Honda will continue research and development of the device including experiments in a real-world environment to verify the practicality of the device.
This new personal mobility device makes it possible to adjust speed and move, turn and stop in all directions when the rider leans the upper body to shift body weight. This was achieved through application of advanced technologies including Honda’s balance control technology, which was developed through the robotics research of ASIMO, Honda’s bipedal humanoid robot, and the world’s first* omni-directional driving wheel system (Honda Omni Traction Drive System, or HOT Drive System), which enables movement in all directions, including not only forward and backward, but also directly to the right and left and diagonally. In addition, this compact size and one-wheel-drive personal mobility device was designed to be friendly to the user and people around it by making it easier for the rider to reach the ground from the footrest and placing the rider on roughly the same eye level as other people or pedestrians.