By on May 15, 2012

Need an excuse for getting fat for lack of exercise?  Buy Honda’s latest invention, and you won’t even have to walk to the bathroom anymore, assuming a barrier-free environment. Honda presents the UNI-CUB, the first vehicle you steer with your ass.

The UNI-CUB is the next generation of the U3-X personal mobility device that Honda announced in 2009. The UNI-CUB does away with joy sticks and pedals. It combines balance control technology (it goes where you lean) with the world’s first omni-directional driving wheel system. Your range anxiety it will heal not. It has a range of 3.7 miles, and a max speed of 3.7 mph.

Next month, Honda will field test the UNI-CUB at Japan’s National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation in Tokyo. Later on, “practical applications of the device in a wide range of environments in Japan and other countries” shall be explored.

I did not dare to ask for a test drive ride.

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29 Comments on “Honda’s Easy Rider...”

  • avatar

    Yeah, yeah, look at all the fat and lazy people who will just get fatter and lazier. It’s easy to mock this device but it will be a godsend for many with genuinely limited mobility. That alone justifies its existence. It’s not as limiting as a wheelchair, it leaves the hands pretty much free, and it’ll go places that are difficult for an electric kart.

  • avatar

    When you think about all of the elderly people that are in Japan, this is on the right track.

  • avatar

    Remember when the Segway was going to change the world? At least the Honda does not occupy much more space than a pedestrian.

  • avatar
    Mark MacInnis

    Bertel, does this thing have a maximum load rate?

    I’m betting the 3.7 MPH and the 3.7 mile range is based on the typical Japanese-sized person, i.e., under 125 lbs.

    Put Big American Mama or Fat Joe on it, and (if it doesn’t collapse from the weight of all those Big Macs and frozen pizzas, range and speed will be down so far as to make it impractical here in the U.S….

  • avatar

    It looks like it would be good for handicapped people who would otherwise need a wheelchair or scooter. However, I would worry about how well the balance control technology will work if the rider’s handicap means he doesn’t have good balance. To a degree, it is comparable to riding a horse.

  • avatar

    Looks like it could also become a porter within a building or campus environment. Hallelujah, no more having to walk to the candy dispenser. Wait, what am I thinking, the scooter IS the dispenser!

  • avatar

    C’mon Honda, behind the curve again. Mr. Garrison from Southpark invented this over a decade ago (see “The Entity”, season 5).

  • avatar

    vtec just kicked in y0!

  • avatar
    schmitt trigger

    It appears that the girls are texting while driving.
    I can foresee that one of them is going to collide with the office’s water cooler, drive herself down some stairs or run down the cleaning lady.

  • avatar

    Based on this article, it would appear that women prefer this device at a 2 to 1 ratio. I won’t comment why that may be…!

  • avatar

    Actually, you could get a light core workout from maneuvering. I get plenty of walking and jogging outdoors.

    Okay, you are right, this is a bad idea fo most people. However, if you arrange your office for these things your first gen robots will fit in better.

  • avatar
    Mark MacInnis

    Great idea. Now, when Honda brings it here, American engineers, lawyers, marketing people and government regulators will get hold of this. They’ll say it needs…

    front impact airbags
    emissions controls
    automated seatbelts
    backup cameras
    reverse-warning tones
    a windshield
    windshield wipers
    anti-lock brakes
    10 mph anti-pedestrian bumpers
    safety glass
    crushproof roof
    side impact airbags
    flexfuel capability
    transmission shift interlock
    a black box
    blind-spot detection system

    at which time Honda can sell it…as the next generation Honda Pilot.

    America is a very, very silly and surreal place.

  • avatar

    Isn’t anyone going to point out that while Honda has been distracted with this silly little program, jets, lawnmowers and so forth, their once-mighty automotive division has seemingly been getting steered by a committee’s worth of ass?

  • avatar

    “…you won’t even have to walk to the bathroom anymore”
    How about they just build in a toilet seat and be done with it? You’d never be caught short again.

  • avatar

    When’s the Si coming out? With a 6 speed?

  • avatar

    In all seriousness – my 81 year old semi-mobile mother could probably use of these. She can walk around a grocery store and move about her house – but say in an airport she needs a wheelchair and her walk is labored.

    If there was a bit more to the seat to help assure she stayed on the thing – like others I can see this as being good for the semi-mobile and handicapped.

  • avatar

    Am I the only one who found the video hilarious? I lost it when the woman opened the lift and there was another scooter.

    It is a great looking package though. I wish Honda made home appliances. Also imagine a s2000 washing machine, 9000rpm spin dry.

  • avatar

    “…the first vehicle you steer with your ass.”

    Sorry, Bertel, I think that’s factually wrong: Whenever you ride your bicycle without holding on to the handle bars, you’re actually steering it mit dem Arsch.

    Also, of course, that’s how you steer the ordinary non-motorized unicycle all the time.

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