Honda U3-X Personal Transport

Posted on October 26, 2009  Comments (3)

Honda and Toyota continue to develop personal transport and personal robotics assistance products. While other car companies can barely stay in business Honda and Toyota not only are doing well (even if Toyota will lose money this year) they are investing in the future and pushing strong engineering programs. I must say the personal transportation devices seem less than awesome to me though this video does make the Honda U3-X seem reasonable – better than the Toyota Winglet looked.

Honda unveiled U3-X, a compact experimental device that fits comfortably between the rider’s legs, to provide free movement in all directions – forward, backward, side-to-side, and diagonally. Honda will continue research and development of the device including experiments in a real-world environment to verify the practicality of the device.

This new personal mobility device makes it possible to adjust speed and move, turn and stop in all directions when the rider leans the upper body to shift body weight. This was achieved through application of advanced technologies including Honda’s balance control technology, which was developed through the robotics research of ASIMO, Honda’s bipedal humanoid robot, and the world’s first omni-directional driving wheel system (Honda Omni Traction Drive System, or HOT Drive System), which enables movement in all directions, including not only forward and backward, but also directly to the right and left and diagonally. In addition, this compact size and one-wheel-drive personal mobility device was designed to be friendly to the user and people around it by making it easier for the rider to reach the ground from the footrest and placing the rider on roughly the same eye level as other people or pedestrians.

Related: Honda’s Robolegs Help People WalkToyota Develops Thought-controlled WheelchairHonda has Never had Layoffs and has been Profitable Every YearToyota Engineering Development ProcessToyota Robots

3 Responses to “Honda U3-X Personal Transport”

  1. Patrick Oden
    October 26th, 2009 @ 11:53 am

    The lateral movement is nifty, but other than that, I’m not overly impressed. I mean, I’m impressed with the technology, but I think the practicality is leaving quite a bit to be desired. Those for whom mobility is an issue will continue to use wheelchairs and similar machines, and those for whom mobility is not an issue will probably either continue to walk, or will opt for faster modes of motorized transport. Plus, I don’t know, the thing seems kind of inconvenient. If you’re driving a few blocks to the store or something, are you going to ride it in? Park it somewhere? Put it in a locker?

  2. P. Veazey
    November 11th, 2009 @ 2:46 am

    Machines like these tend to make people more lazy. Obese people will maybe patronize it and make it a success if it could support heavier weight.

  3. Ian
    April 11th, 2011 @ 11:30 pm

    I beg to differ with previous comments. As an old polio person, I have been using a Segway for around 6 years now and love it. The big problem with the Segway however is that at 5okg it’s just too damn heavy to lift in and out of a car. This means that I can’t take it to museums, galleries, airports etc unless I have some burly person with me to help load and unload it. One of these Honda devices at 10kg would be just perfect to sling into the car and take anywhere. Where can I get one please?!

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