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.