Print 39 comment(s) - last by G2cool.. on Sep 28 at 9:04 AM

Honda shows off innovative transportation device

Honda recently showed off a new personal mobility technology that closely mimics a robotic unicycle designed to help disabled people move around.

The new device, the U3-X, has a seat height a bit higher than an average person's waistline, and riders must jump up a bit before they can put their feet on a foot rest.  Honda designed the U3-X so it can move forward and backwards, sideways and diagonally.

Riders simply need to lean the direction they wish to go in, and it has a top speed of 3.7 MPH.  

"We believe this is the first step in realizing the fun of human transportation and expanding that joy indefinitely," Honda President Takanobu Ito said during the event.  "And if my legs get a little weak, I would like to have one of these around the house. It makes it easy to move about."

Honda is known for its robotics development and similar technological advancements, though very few of its new technologies have been made available to the public.  Similar to other breakthroughs, it looks like Honda is more interested in showing off future technologies, not necessarily launching products in the next few years.

In fact, the U3-X development was made possible in part because of Honda's bipedal humanoid research robot known as ASIMO.  

Honda will show off the U3-X during the Tokyo Motor Show in late October, Honda officials said in a statement.

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RE: Thats retarded.
By Yawgm0th on 9/25/2009 4:36:16 PM , Rating: 5
Disagreed, strongly.

I have a close friend who recently had to get foot surgery on each foot, separately. This put her through two separate ~four month recoveries during which she could not walk at all. She got the surgery because her feet had problems from birth that made walking very painful by the time she was in her twenties. During recovery she had to use a stroller to move around. It was not comfortable, not effective, and even bulkier than this device. When not in a stroller she had to use a wheelchair.

This would have made her recovery much, much easier. No doubt it would make short-distance transportation easier for all sorts of disabled people.

RE: Thats retarded.
By Bateluer on 9/25/2009 5:32:03 PM , Rating: 2
That still makes it a very niche product, especially for US citizens.

Look at the 'disabled' people cruising Walmart on the motorized carts and tell me they'll actually be able to use this thing.

RE: Thats retarded.
By sigmatau on 9/25/2009 5:48:22 PM , Rating: 4
You mean fat people at Wal-mart? I lol everytime I see a 500 pounder on one of those. Reminds me of the fat twins in the Guiness records that make their motorcylces look like pocket rockets.

RE: Thats retarded.
By Hakuryu on 9/25/2009 5:44:02 PM , Rating: 1
Not to nitpick, but this thing has footrests... your friend would not have been able to use it. I highly doubt you could just sit on it with feet dangling and move around well.

They mention the disabled using this, but truly I don't see how. You got to have some balance and leg strength to ride one of these from the look it. Perhaps a seatbelt and some sort of foot retainer could be installed, but I can't see this being safe for a disabled person who might not have the best balance no matter how stable it is. I think they were more on target with the 'joy' ride part.

RE: Thats retarded.
By adiposity on 9/25/2009 5:55:29 PM , Rating: 2
If she could use a walker, then she can probably handle footrests. A walker requires putting your feet on the ground, and supporting a lot of your own weight on those same feet, in case you weren't aware...


RE: Thats retarded.
By 67STANG on 9/25/2009 5:54:32 PM , Rating: 3
Aren't Americans fat enough? Whatever happened to "walking"?

RE: Thats retarded.
By mindless1 on 9/26/2009 6:25:45 PM , Rating: 2
Doesn't it only have a 1 hour charge capability? Seems to me you'd get more exercise riding it then having to lug the rest of the way than you would merely walking normally.

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