By on September 25, 2009

Honda’s U3-X was designed more with robots in mind than humans. Can you tell?

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28 Comments on “What’s Wrong With This Picture: Name That South Park Episode Edition...”


  • avatar
    Stingray

    was designed more with robots in mind than humans

    That’s what…

  • avatar
    ZoomZoom

    hahaha, that’s funny.

    I wonder how fast it’ll go on the freeway?

  • avatar
    keepaustinweird

    This is better than walking how?

  • avatar
    RGS920

    South Park: The Entity. Where Mr. Garrison gets fed up with waiting in line at the airport and instead invents his own alternative transportation.

  • avatar
    skandar

    Nothing. Why the backlash against this device? It would have greatly helped my father-in-law who walks with cane attend my daughter’s pep rally this morning. Much better than a Segway because he can sit, his back makes standing painful, as he moves and then use it a seat if he wants when he gets to the location. Granted he would probably want a bigger seat and more obvious controls, but I think it is a great start.

  • avatar

    It’s the “IT”!!!! but this one will work without going in and out of my butt and mouth right????

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    I understand they’re introducing a special “noise, vibration and harshness” edition to be sold at…ahem…adult retail outlets.

  • avatar
    Phred_da_Phrog

    Too bad the “alternate transport” included a plastic phallus in the rear and mouth as the “control sticks” even though the controls were on the sides of the machine…

  • avatar
    Stingray

    adult retail outlets

    hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahshjklhuererkbjdhsgvsahsgbajahahahahhahaha ROFL

  • avatar
    RetardedSparks

    I was all over trashing this when I first saw it too. As transportation, it’s stupid.

    However, as a technology demonstration is freakin’ amazing.

    How many wheeled things do you know that can go straight sideways from a standstill? How many single-legged things do you know that can stand up their own, and stay standing when you sit on them?

    I’m with you on the Segway silliness, and I really wish the Japanese would come up with better ways to showcase their technology (remember the stair-climbing self-powered girdle Honda showed last year?) but the technology in this thing is mind blowing.

  • avatar
    jmo

    It would have greatly helped my father-in-law who walks with cane attend my daughter’s pep rally this morning

    Perhaps that’s the idea. I’d have to think the average Tokyo apartment is too small for a hoveround. So, with a large population of elderly living in a dense urban environment, this could be a good solution.

  • avatar
    John R

    I’m with jmo and skandar. It might not be ideal for transportation, but for people who have a hard time with basic mobility it might be an ideal way for them to get around their home.

    Also, RetardSparks is bang on. I wonder how scaleable this technology is. Remember the Audi from I, Robot?

  • avatar
    bomber991

    This thing is pretty cool. It’s not a big piece of crap like a seqway. Something small like this you could fold up and stow away easily.

  • avatar
    TonUpBoi

    I just showed the clip to the staff at the Honda shop where I work. You should have seen the jaws hit the floor. Especially the mechanics in service.

    Laugh all you want. While Toyota, Yamaha, etc. are inventing newer versions of the same old technology, Honda’s out there coming up with ideas that are completely off the wall . . . . . . and will probably be very useful about twenty years from now, once we catch up with the technology.

  • avatar
    yankinwaoz

    Didn’t the Jetsons have something like this? Or was is closer to the Segway?

  • avatar
    Bridge2far

    What a marvel! Perhaps they can progressively strengthen the unit to tolerate the increasingly fat audience that can no longer walk down the hallway to the company fridge.

  • avatar
    Da Coyote

    Interesting caustic comments, but this is solid, impressive engineering (albeit, somewhat delayed from the American two-wheel version).

    If you want to cogitate a bit, name me one (any) person in the present (or past perhaps) political administration who could begin to understand how such a device works.

    Now, politics aside, why do we expect political science and law majors to improve our lives? It’s scientists and engineers and folks that actually bend metal that produce useful products.

    Kudos to Honda.

  • avatar
    niky

    The elderly?

    The elderly?

    I don’t know about you, but when I’m sixty four, I don’t want you young’uns putting me on top of something that looks so painful for my back.

    There’s a reason they make wheelchairs and not wheelstools.

    If you want absurdly expensive wheeled transportation for the elderly that allows them to do things like… oh… climb stairs or reach standing height, i-Bot is more practical:

  • avatar
    rpn453

    I’d rather use that than the airlines.

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    Now, politics aside, why do we expect political science and law majors to improve our lives?

    Typical engineering arrogance: if it’s not tangible, it’s not worthwhile.

    I don’t know if you’re aware of these periods of history called “The Enlightenment” or “The Reformation”. Perhaps the whole concept of Democracy might be of interest to you? Someone has to come up with this stuff and you can bet it often wasn’t the guy with the abacus/slide rule/pocket calculator/copy of Mathematica. And while, Classically, some of these people were also mathematicians and engineers, they were remembered as politicians and philosophers.

    This device is actually pretty typical of a company like Honda; one that’s run (or run amok) by engineers: it’s a cool thing and all, but it really begs the question “Why?”. The answer seems to be “Because we can”, which is cool and all, but that path leads to some dark things: nuclear weapons, genetically-engineered plague, modern Acuras.

    I think it secretly bugs a lot of engineers to find out that they don’t really Rule The World.

  • avatar
    jmo

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZHmIn0Ji628&feature=related

    Luxury apartment in Tokyo – makes it easier to understand the “wheelstool” vs. the “wheelchair”.

  • avatar
    Gunit

    Amazing! A transportation device that makes you look like more of dork than when riding a Segway. Actually it is pretty impressive.

  • avatar
    thanh_n

    Based on this product and Honda’s walking-assist devices, I believe Honda is trying to get into the senior health/mobility industry, which is ripe with monetary opportunities.

  • avatar
    shaker

    psarhjinian :
    “…but that path leads to some dark things: nuclear weapons, genetically-engineered plague, modern Acuras.”

    Ouch!

    thanh_n :
    “…I believe Honda is trying to get into the senior health/mobility industry…”

    Correct – seniors are the fastest growing segment of Japan’s population; thus their focus on robotic servants and mobility devices.

    Though way cool, I’d keep it away from shag carpets and older OmniStone walkways.

  • avatar
    joeaverage

    Thanks but I’d be just as happy with sidewalks in more locations that I go to so I could make better use of the mtn bike that I already own.

    The trick is finding a route from point A to point B without getting run over by some cellphone talking or “in-texti-cated” driver (love that term, hate the apathy that some of the younger drivers have about it).

  • avatar
    panzerfaust

    As is often the case at Honda, they build a toy to demonstrate a technical concept. This entirely impractical for personal transportation but it could be a very useful system to be used on a service robot.

  • avatar
    Autosavant

    I guessed the episode immediately as I saw the pic, but I saw the pic 2 days late, was on travel myself with a far more comfortable mode of transport (to wash DC and back in my “Magnificent 7″ 740iL ’98 I bought 4 years ago for peanuts (almost 90% off a new 7 iL)

  • avatar
    mkirk

    Too bad GM didn’t build this stupidity so everyone would give it the bashing it deserves on here.


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