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The other day we had a look at the YikeBike which is an electronic rechargeable bike which folds up for easy carrying. It is intended as a commuter friendly way of getting around the city. Well the idea is obviously proving popular because Honda has just unveiled a prototype of their new electronic unicycle.
It is a silver machine dubbed the U3-X and it completely lacks handlebars. Instead it has internal balance control which apparently ensures it remains upright. You can actually lean in the relevant direction to move or turn and it is capable of turning in any direction you choose. The U3-X is only 65cm high and it weighs just 10kg. The rechargeable battery is good for an hour before it needs to be plugged in for a recharge. There are foot rests on the device and it has a top speed of 3.7 miles per hour.
Just like the YikeBike they are targeting commuters as likely customers. The U3-X looks like a figure of eight and it doesn’t really look substantial enough to get around on. You have to watch the video demonstration to really see how it works. It looks like a lot of fun to use and there is no denying the compact design is really nice.
They actually used technology from robotics after research for the ASIMO robot. With all the expense and hassle involved with driving in big cities, not to mention the ecological angle, there may well be a market for this kind of thing. I’m still waiting for the hover board to be invented but in the meantime I wouldn’t mind a shot on one of these. They haven’t announced a likely price yet.
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