Honda's UNI-CUB: Segway or Wall-E's girlfriend?
Most of us tend to associate Honda with cars and motorcycles, yet the automotive company has a number of varied interests ranging from robotics to aircraft.
Honda also manufactures a line of personal mobility vehicles, and recently introduced a new unit dubbed the UNI-CUB, the latest evolution of the U3-X personal mobility vehicle first showcased in 2009.
The UNI-CUB features proprietary balance control technology and is equipped with what Honda claims to be the world's first omni-directional driving wheel system, known as the Omni Traction Drive System.
When the two technologies are used in combination, the rider of the small vehicle can move in any direction, turn, and stop simply by shifting their weight. Supposedly, the UNI-CUB is also agile and responsive enough to navigate within groups of pedestrians.
Indeed, the mobility vehicle measures 520 x 345 x 745 mm (L x W x H) and has a seat height of 745 - 825 mm, which promises to put the riders face level with other pedestrians.
The mobility vehicle is powered by an internal rechargeable lithium-ion battery good for 6 km per charge. The maximum speed for the UNI-CUB is 6 km/h.
Honda plans to test the pesonal mobility vehicle starting in June 2012 at the Japan National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation.