Ariel Schwartz

Honda Unveils U3-X Electric Unicycle - Look out Segway!

by , 09/24/09
filed under: Green Transportation

honda, u3x, segway, mobility, japan

Ever wished you could zip down the street on a self-balancing electric unicycle? So have the engineers at Honda. The Segway-like U3-X developed by the Japanese company, travels at 3.7 MPH on an hour of battery life. It also folds up easily so that you can carry it with you when it’s not in use. Could this be the easy, green transportation mode of the future that we’ve been looking for? Check out our video after the jump.

honda, u3x, segway, mobility, japan

Honda’s prototype has an internal self-balancing system–the single large wheel is actually made up of a number of smaller motor-control wheels that allow the U3-X to move forward, backward, diagonally and sideways without toppling over.

Despite the internal balancing system, the device still looks like a death trap for the drunk and clumsy. And the top speed of under 4 MPH means that the U3-X isn’t suitable for many citybound transportation-seekers.

But that’s not the point – Honda developed the U3-X with elderly people in mind. Takanobu Ito, the president of Honda, told the press, “I may want to use it in my home. It’d be easier to get around so I might really use it if my legs grow weaker.”

As the average age of Japanese citizens slowly creeps up, Honda’s U3-X could increasingly act as an alternative to canes and walkers. That is, of course, if the device ever makes it to market. Honda doesn’t yet have any plans to commercialize the U3-X, though it will be shown off at the Tokyo Motor Show in October.

Via UK Telegraph

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6 Comments

  1. JackiePie May 13, 2012 at 11:27 pm

    It’d be nice if you could rent these to get around the parks at Disneyland & Disney World!

  2. catlady58 August 6, 2011 at 1:08 pm

    i would like to know the cost, and the availability of this product

  3. Archer February 27, 2011 at 4:25 pm

    As you grow older your sense of balance also depletes so I cant see it being a viable alternative to a wheel chair but it would help mobility for those younger folk with walking difficulties in hospitals and the like.

  4. leslie lucas January 21, 2011 at 11:32 am

    the U3-X looks great to me, I would love to know when it would be available in canada as a senior with some problems walking long distances it would make my life a lot easer as I could ride to the bus stop and not have to try to get my bycicle in their bike rack. I could just carry it on the bus to my deatination and ride off to my appoinment Thank you

  5. Self-Balancing Electric... October 15, 2010 at 4:27 pm

    [...] for an eye-catching alternative to a bicycle or motorcycle? Enter the Self-Balancing Unicycle (SBU), an electric contraption from Focus Designs that features a 1000 watt motor, three gyro [...]

  6. Ann5 September 27, 2009 at 9:59 am

    What $ range will this be?
    I use a power wheel chair but can walk short distances!
    It would solve the problem of riding with others and allow for more family members to ride with me.
    My lift and power chair close off the rear seating so only three passengers can ride with me.
    I could put it in a persons trunk and go with them also.
    Looks exciting to me.

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