Honda Motor Co., Ltd have unveiled the new UNI-CUB, a personal mobility device designed for use by individuals and within public spaces.
Representing an evolution of the U3-X personal mobility concept device that Honda announced in 2009, the UNI-CUB features a compact design with comfortable saddle and offers the same freedom of movement in all directions that a person enjoys while walking. This is achievable by Honda’s development of proprietary balance control technology and the world’s first omni-directional driving wheel system (Honda Omni Traction Drive System) – inspired by robotic technologies developed for Asimo, Honda’s world-famous humanoid robot.
These technologies allow the rider to control speed, move in any direction, turn and stop, all simply by shifting his or her weight. Since the rider can freely move forward, backward, side-to-side and diagonally, he or she can quickly and easily manoeuvre among other people.
Moreover, UNI-CUB’s compact saddle-style packaging makes it easy for the rider’s legs to reach the ground while maintaining eye-level height with other pedestrians. This configuration promotes harmony between the rider and others, letting the rider travel freely and comfortably inside facilities and among moving people.
From June 2012 until March 2013, Honda will jointly conduct demonstration testing of UNI-CUB with Japan’s National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation.
Staff will perform demonstrations and use the device for making their rounds, while the museum’s annual pass holders will have the opportunity to test ride UNI-CUB. In addition to testing the feasibility of using UNI-CUB indoors, this project will explore the practical applications of the device in a wide range of environments within Japan and other countries.
Going forward, Honda will continue its proactive research and development of next-generation mobility technologies, with the aim of continually looking for innovative yet practical ways to offer society and individuals the joy, fun and convenience that comes from the freedom of movement.