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’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