May 16, 2012
Honda Unveils New Uni-Cub Personal Transport Device
Although the Japanese tech industry continues to roll out the future of personal mobility year after year, none ever seem to get past the consumer showcase phase. With that in mind, Honda has unveiled a clever new single-wheeled device called Uni-Cub.
More than just a wheeled chair, the Uni-Cub features a proprietary, omni-directional driving wheel system that allows the user to change direction simply by shifting their weight, as if on a unicycle, and can move forward, backward, side-to-side and diagonally, merely by a slight shift in weight, controlling the direction of travel.Uni-Cub´s incline sensor detects the direction in which the rider is leaning, allowing the device to calculate the direction and speed intended by the rider. Touch panel control via smartphone and other devices is another convenient control option as well, writes Arman Barari for Motorward.
Top speed is just slightly faster than normal walking speed, 3.7 mph Honda claims. When not in use, Uni-Cub can be folded up into a tiny carry case. Typical of such show-off devices, Honda has no plans for a release date at this time, reports Rob Waugh for Mail Online.
The balance control technology of Uni-Cub comes from the labs of Honda Robotics, the same labs as the ASIMO humanoid robot which Honda seemingly loves to trot out at such events.
If the Uni-Cub appears too cumbersome for your liking, maybe the U3-X is more your speed. When folded up and carried around, the U3-X looks like an oversized waffle iron, but the single-wheeled device unfolds into a another zippy transporter.
Honda claims the U3-X can run for a full hour and weighs in at less than 22 pounds.
Honda, Toyota and other technology companies are seemingly fascinated with such devices and there appears to be a never-ending parade of them. Someday we may see such vehicles in common use, especially in Japan with its rapidly aging populace.
“Honda engineers are always thinking about people´s dreams and wishes about mobility. We will continue to work hard to be a leader in that area,” Honda CEO Takanobu Ito said.