New Honda Personal Mobility DevicePosted on September 28th, 2009
U3-X provides free movement in all directions
Honda has conducted robotics research since the mid-1980s, to develop technology that mimics walking. The U3-X is a single-wheel device that fits between the rider’s legs. The U3-X mimics walking, in that it can move in all directions: forward, side-to-side and diagonally. The rider controls the direction by shifting his body weight.
An incline sensor detects the incline of the device based on the rider’s weight shift. It uses this information to determine the rider’s intention in terms of direction and speed.
Multiple small-diameter motor-controlled wheels are connected in-line to form one large-diameter wheel. The large diameter wheel moves the device forward and backward. Moving the small-diameter wheels causes the device to move side-to-side. By combining the movements the device moves diagonally.
The U3-X’s lightweight monocoque body stows a foldable seat, footrests and body cover. The device weighs about 22 pounds.
Honda will showcase the U3-X at the upcoming Tokyo Motor Show at the end of October. The U3-X runs on a lithium ion battery: it will run for one hour when fully charged.
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