Honda UNI-CUB unveiled [video]

Walking is overrated

While the German automakers are busy developing pedelec bikes and e-scooters, Japan remains at the forefront of weird, futuristic mobility devices. Case in point, Honda's UNI-CUB concept which is an evolution of the previous U3-X prototype.

Designed to be the ultimate personal mobility device, the UNI-CAB features balance control technology and an omni-directional driving system which allows users to adjust their speed and direction by shifting their weight.

Power is provided by a lithium-ion battery which enables the device to travel 6 km (3.7 miles) at speeds up to 6 km/h (3.7 mph).

Honda will begin testing the UNI-CUB next month and all the findings will go towards developing "next-generation mobility technologies."

Published May 15th, 2012 10:42pm By Michael Gauthier
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Honda Announces New UNI-CUB Personal Mobility Device Designed for Harmony with People

Joint demonstration testing to begin in June

Honda Motor Co., Ltd. today unveiled the new UNI-CUB personal mobility device, designed for harmony with people. Featuring a compact design and comfortable saddle, UNI-CUB offers the same freedom of movement in all directions that a person enjoys while walking.

Representing the evolution of the U3-X personal mobility device that Honda announced in 2009, UNI-CUB features Honda's proprietary balance control technology and the world's first omni-directional driving wheel system (Honda Omni Traction Drive System). 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 maneuver among other people.

Moreover, UNI-CUB's compact saddle-style packaging makes it easy for the rider's legs to reach the ground and maintains 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.

Starting in June 2012, Honda will jointly conduct demonstration testing of UNI-CUB with Japan's National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation. 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 in Japan and other countries.

The balance control technology of UNI-CUB is part of the Honda Robotics family of technologies, which originates with Honda's research into humanoid robots, including the world-famous ASIMO.

Going forward, Honda will continue its proactive research and development of next-generation mobility technologies, aiming always to offer more and more people the joy and fun that comes from freedom of movement.

Key features of UNI-CUB:
Maneuverability promotes compatibility with people in many environments:
1. Omni-directional freedom of movement similar to human walking UNI-CUB has a two-wheel configuration with a minimal wheelbase. The front wheel features the Honda Omni Traction Drive System that Honda first announced in 2009. The rear wheel moves laterally to facilitate turning. By leveraging the different rotational speeds of the front and rear wheel treads during lateral movements, UNI-CUB can move forwards and backwards, side-to-side and diagonally and also turn in place, making possible quick, nimble movement.

2. Movement in harmony with other people
Honda's proprietary balance control technology makes it possible for the rider to freely control the wheels of the UNI-CUB, much as human beings maintain their balance. With a design that takes into consideration the rider's environment, this system allows the rider to maneuver while moving side by side with or holding hands with another person.

3. Compact size for moving and climbing gradients in barrier-free indoor environments
Thanks to UNI-CUB's compact saddle-style packaging, the rider and vehicle together are about the same width as a person when walking. Optimized wheel design and high-precision drive/balance control enhance UNI-CUB's ability to climb gradients in barrier-free indoor environments.

Ease of control promotes freedom of movement:
4. Weight shift control combined with touch panel control
When the rider is using weight shift control, UNI-CUB's incline sensor detects the direction in which the rider is leaning, allowing UNI-CUB to calculate the direction and speed intended by the rider. And touch panel control via smartphone and other devices is another convenient control option.


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Comments (8)

9TNine 9TNine
1) ...and its time around the Nurburgring is...?? :) 2) I hope it does NOT catch on. Otherwise those fine, slim, attracitve Japanese ladies will not be slim and attractive anymore!
Nov 14th, 2013 7:42pm
0 0
Fit a couple of these in a car and you got a winner. You drive downtown and then you ride around town. Kind of what Opel did in a past concept where two standing gyro wheels slide out of the rear bumper and take you around busy streets and shops
May 16th, 2012 11:46am
0 0
mechamynd mechamynd
Dear ginger users, if standing up on your ginger tires you, here the solution. the saddled version of ginger by honda! Have fun
May 16th, 2012 9:23am
0 0
Unless the seat vibrates, I don't see any reason why that lady would be so happy to look so stupid.
May 16th, 2012 9:15am
1 0
manual-trans manual-trans
It is about time to bring the Irobot Audi to reality!
May 16th, 2012 5:22am
0 0
ReyJoe ReyJoe
Honda Promotes Obesity : (
May 16th, 2012 5:16am
2 0
RoadRunner RoadRunner
If your disabled then fantastic but other than that, shear lazy!
May 15th, 2012 11:43pm
1 0
djcocum djcocum
The movie Wall-E comes to my mind after seeing this vehicle
May 16th, 2012 12:59am
1 0