Honda Motor Co., Ltd. unveiled the UNI-CUB β, a new personal mobility device which was made usable for a wider range of people by enhancing the device’s compatibility. The UNI-CUB was first introduced in May 2012 as a personal mobility device featuring balance control technology and an omni-directional driving wheel system (Honda Omni Traction Drive System), derivative of Honda’s research into humanoid robots. (Earlier post.)
|New UNI-CUB β (left), original UNI-CUB (right). Click to enlarge.|
These technologies allow a UNI-CUB rider to move forward, backward, side-to-side and diagonally simply by shifting body weight and leaning toward the intended direction. Featuring a compact-sized body that is appropriate for maneuvering among other people, the UNI-CUB offers personal mobility in indoor spaces such as offices and commercial facilities.
Since June 2012, Honda has been testing and verifying the potential usefulness of the UNI-CUB through a demonstration testing program conducted jointly with the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation (Miraikan). The UNI-CUB has been used by Miraikan staffs for their transportation within the facility and also by many Miraikan visitors in a wide range of ages for touring around the museum.
The UNI-CUB β was developed by analyzing and incorporating the data and the user feedback through this testing program. With this model, Honda will make another step forward and verify the business feasibility by offering the UNI-CUB β for a variety of uses by other businesses and organizations through a fee-based leasing program.
Key features of UNI-CUB β:
Compared to the previous model, the seating position was lowered and the weight was reduced, making the UNI-CUB β usable for a wider range of people.
Honda proposed a new design that enhances the sense of unity of the user and the device. In addition, softer materials were adopted in order to make the seat more comfortable and to lessen the impact when the device hits other people or objects.
The ease of getting on and off the device was improved through the addition of a stand function. In addition, the stand enables the device to be used as a stool when it is not in motion.
Honda will exhibit the UNI-CUB β at the 43rd Tokyo Motor Show 2013. Test riding is also scheduled.