Honda U3-X – The Portable Segway

honda_u3xIf you’re looking for a way to cruise the footpaths with something a little more portable than a Segway then perhaps you should visit Honda on your shopping spree.

Honda has developed a personal mobility technology, the U3-X, that kinda looks like a futuristic unicycle.

The experimental device fits between the rider’s legs – how many times has that line been used? 😉

It provides free movement in all directions. The usual forwards and backwards but also slings in side-to-side and even diagonal into the mix!

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 in all directions without leaving the rider in a crumpled heap.

That clever omni-directional wheel system is otherwise known as the HOT Drive System – the tech that was developed from Honda’s ASIMO robot project.

The top speed of under 4 MPH means that the U3-X wont be suitable for many citybound transportation-seekers – but perhaps a beer scooter after a few pints?

Honda actually developed the U3-X with old folk 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.”

Honda plans to showcase the U3-X at the 41st Tokyo Motor Show 2009, which begins October 24, 2009 at Makuhari Messe in Chiba, Japan.

Watch the vid below to see a girl go zipping off on it – sometimes sideways it seems!!

Here’s the demo vid for a more sensible idea of what this thing is about:

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