Honda has offered a glimpse of its UNI-CUB and it’s apparent that the new machine is like a chair for the lazy.
What the UNI-CUB offers as a “personal mobility device” as Honda calls it, is the ability to go to any place in your office or your home without ever getting up.
Think of it as a chair with wheels that’s controlled by where you shift your weight.
According to Honda, the UNI-CUB does this by use of the “Honda Omni Traction Drive System”.
In tandem with Honda’s proprietary balance control system, the UNI-CUB “allow the rider to control speed, move in any direction, turn and stop, all simply by shifting his or her weight.
“Since the rider can freely move forward, backward, side-to-side and diagonally, he or she can quickly and easily maneuver among other people,” Honda said in a press release.
And people will not have to get up from the UNI-CUB. As the video below shows, people can work sitting on it as it height is suitable to working in front of a table or talking with people who are standing up.
“Moreover, UNI-CUB’s compact saddle-style packaging makes it easy for the rider’s legs to reach the ground and maintains eye-level height with other pedestrians. This configuration promotes harmony between the rider and others, letting the rider travel freely and comfortably inside facilities and among moving people,” Honda notes.
In Honda’s own words, here’s the main features of the UNI-CUB:
＜Maneuverability promotes compatibility with people in many environments
- Omni-directional freedom of movement similar to human walking – UNI-CUB has a two-wheel configuration with a minimal wheelbase. The front wheel features the Honda Omni Traction Drive System that Honda first announced in 2009. The rear wheel moves laterally to facilitate turning. By leveraging the different rotational speeds of the front and rear wheel treads during lateral movements, UNI-CUB can move forwards and backwards, side-to-side and diagonally and also turn in place, making possible quick, nimble movement.
- Movement in harmony with other people – Honda’s proprietary balance control technology makes it possible for the rider to freely control the wheels of the UNI-CUB, much as human beings maintain their balance. With a design that takes into consideration the rider’s environment, this system allows the rider to maneuver while moving side by side with or holding hands with another person.
- Compact size for moving and climbing gradients in barrier-free indoor environments – Thanks to UNI-CUB’s compact saddle-style packaging, the rider and vehicle together are about the same width as a person when walking. Optimized wheel design and high-precision drive/balance control enhance UNI-CUB’s ability to climb gradients in barrier-free indoor environments.
< Ease of control promotes freedom of movement >
- Weight shift control combined with touch panel control – When the rider is using weight shift control, UNI-CUB’s incline sensor detects the direction in which the rider is leaning, allowing UNI-CUB to calculate the direction and speed intended by the rider. And touch panel control via smartphone and other devices is another convenient control option.
Honda says that it will demonstrate and test the UNI-CUB with the Japan National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation starting next month.
Apparently, they will test the UNI-CUB not only in offices and other indoor facilities but also in other settings.
Nonetheless, the UNI-CUB is not yet available so those who may want it to replace their Segways will have to wait a little longer.
The UNI-CUB is powered y a lithium-ion battery, has a range of six kilometers and a top speed of 6 kilometers per hour.
Here’s a video of the UNI-CUB from Honda.