Honda Uni-Cub promotes our fat, lazy future

A new personal mobility device from Honda, the Uni-Cub, lets people roll around indoor environments on a single wheel, with a footprint no wider than a pedestrian.

Honda Uni-Cub
The personal mobility Uni-Cub lets people rove around indoor environments, keeping their hands free. Honda

Like the Segway before it, Honda's new Uni-Cub solves a problem that does not exist; it's a means for able-bodied people to rove around when they could just as well walk. Not to mention looking silly while doing it.

The Uni-Cub is the latest iteration of a personal mobility technology Honda previously showed off as the U3-X . It incorporates a pretty big gee-whiz factor with its self-balancing and multidirectional movement. The sitter (the word driver seems less appropriate) controls the Uni-Cub by shifting his or her body weight.

The device uses two wheels; the front uses what Honda calls an Omni Traction Drive system that goes forward and back and side to side. A smaller rear wheel helps the Uni-Cub turn in place.

Its electric motor drives it up to almost 4 miles an hour, with a range of 3.7 miles. The balancing technology in the Uni-Cub is also used for Honda's Asimo robot . Unlike the Segway, the Uni-Cub is only designed for indoor environments.

Honda will begin testing the Uni-Cub with Japan's National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation in June.

About the author

Wayne Cunningham reviews cars and writes about automotive technology for CNET. Prior to the Car Tech beat, he covered spyware, Web building technologies, and computer hardware. He began covering technology and the Web in 1994 as an editor of The Net magazine. He's also the author of "Vaporware," a novel that's available as a Nook e-book.


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