Looks like a single wheel segway:

Honda has developed a new personal mobility technology, U3-X. It is a compact experimental device that fits comfortably between the riders 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 Hondas balance control technology, which was developed through the robotics research of ASIMO, Hondas bipedal humanoid robot, and the worlds 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.

Hat tip CNET

Category: Technology, Weekend

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7 Responses to “Honda’s U3-X Unicycle”

  1. cvienne says:

    My question is…

    Is high tech Japanese robotics advanced enough to “balance control” 340 pound fat assed Americans?

    All I can envision is some Jabba the Hut coming at me at 30 miles per hour on one of these things while chompin’ on double fisted “Whoppers”…

  2. beth1708 says:

    Something like a yike bike, maybe: http://www.yikebike.com/site/

    The Yike Bike folds up into a bag to carry, according to the video, which is kinda cool. The 5k euro price tag, not so much (also, only in Europe).

  3. archaeo says:

    The Honda gadget is pretty suspect — with both hands positioned behind you while riding, if you ever had to break a fall, good luck!

    MIT’s Ben Gulak has a much sexier (and practical) design: http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2008/gulak-tt0514.html. Looks like a single-tire Ducati AND it’s already through the design phase — no wireframe animation. AND he was just a freshman at the time of the invention (now sophomore).

    Barry — if you’re listening, post this!

  4. Christopher says:

    The Japanese are genius at coming up with more stupid shit for dumb Americans to buy.

  5. [...] Barry Ritholtz at The Big Picture labeled a “single wheel segway.” [...]

  6. Trainwreck says:

    Finding new ways to become even more lazy. Is it too late to become a Luddite?

  7. call me ahab says:

    South Park was way ahead of all these folks- i present The Entity- check out the cool controls-