Honda has given us their glimpse of future transportation modes by showing us their prototype U3-X. The electric unicycle adds another mode of transportation to a growing list of personal mobility devices such as the Segway and the Pugmo Scooter.
The U3-X makes use of an internal balance control to ensure that the device is always upright. Movement is accomplished by having the driver lean forward or left/right depending upon the direction of travel. The mobility device contains dozens of tiny motor-controlled wheels inside the single large wheel that are able to control movement.
Top speed on this Honda machine is 3.7 MPH. According to the Japanese automaker president Takanobu Ito, the device has been designed for senior citizens and those with mobility problems. Ito states “I may want to use it in my home. It’d be easier to get around so I might really use it if my legs grow weaker.”
The design for the U3-X was borrowed from another Honda project, the Asimo humanoid robot.