Good news for the elderly, clowns, obese tourists, and the very, very lazy: Honda has released a new, motorized unicycle that functions the same way as a Segway. The super light U3-X personal mobility system is perfect for those who are too lazy for the standing that a Segway requires.
Able to cruise at a scorching 3.7 miles per hour, the U3-X also only weighs 22 pounds, so it can be carried if a user wants to experience life like our caveman ancestors, and, you know, walk. Fully charged, the device can operate for around an hour, and uses some of the technology from Honda's robot Asimo for balance (much like the Walking Assist and Stride Management Assist robo-legs we tried earlier this year).
Honda said that they designed the device for the elderly. But why would old Japanese people ride a unicycle when they could be carried around by a robot bear?
Honda hopes that the U3-X can compete with Toyota's Winglet, a mini-Segway like device introduced last year. Personally, I think if they really want to shine, they should add a pop-up holographic screen.
[via The Daily Mail]
You would still have to be fairly fit to ride that device. No one--and I don't care how good the robotic balance capability is--no one who weighs three hundred pounds is going to get on that thing and still ride it or control it. You get the typical American senior citizen on that thing, and have them try to drive it into a Cracker Barrel, and you'll have yourself three lawsuits before noon.
Basically, the device works perfectly if you weigh less than 130 pounds, you still have the ability to raise yourself up and mount it, and if you don't have vertigo or a fear of losing your balance.
Tomorrow's elderly need a vehicle with at least five independent wheels that can hold up to 450 pounds. We're not getting any slimmer or healthier, and the future has never looked more like Wall*E than it does now.
I'll take the Segway thank you.
Well, Mr. Fox, if your objective was to show us just how cool you are while providing minimal actual information - I'd say that you succeeded. Also, you did well in the insult department.
No doubt there is great engineering behind this device, but it doesn't seem very practical. Neither it, nor the Segway, seem to make much allowance for the fact that people often carry items with them -- groceries, briefcases, laptops, purses, etc. This device does seem to be harder to use than the Segway, but at least you might be able to find a place to stash it once you get to where you're going.
I'd say that personal mobility devices -- and some popsci scribes-- have a ways to go.
A political decision would be made at Lisbon summit and then officials would decide how to shape and install the system, he stated. “Turkey would vote on the decision in NATO on the system.