Honda on Wednesday unveiled the U3-X, a stool with a unique directional wheel system that allows it to travel diagonally, as well as right, left, forward, and backward.
It's basically a robotic unicycle.
The device is able to readjust itself so that instead of riders having to constantly balance themselves, the robotic unicycle does the compensating.
Honda pointed out in its unveiling video that the U3-X's seat is slightly higher than an average person's waistline, forcing riders to jump up slightly to sit on it and place their feet on a foot rest. This elevated height of the robotic unicycle leaves riders at relative eye level with passing pedestrians while in motion, according to Honda.
It's a nice touch. A common complaint among people in wheelchairs are the social and psychological effects of literally being looked down upon while traveling the world in a sitting position. But requiring the rider to be able to hold upright while on a backless seat clearly disqualifies the U3-X as a wheelchair substitute for many.
And in this age of rising obesity, who among the fitness-conscious is really going to ride the streets on a robotic stool when they can get a little chance at some exercise during their busy day by walking?
It's just one of those things you know no one is really going to buy. So why, then, did Honda unveil the U3-X robotic unicycle?… Read more