Honda Unveils Hands-Free Self-Balancing Mobility Device

Category: Technology / May 15, 2012 10:31AM EDT

 In its latest version of personal mobility devices, Honda Motor Co. displayed a hands-free, self-balancing 'Uni-Cub' in Tokyo on Friday (May 15).

The user controls the machine by shifting his or her weight and the device responds by swiveling, moving forwards, backwards and sideways.The mobility device has a maximum speed of six kilometres (four miles) per hour and a battery lasting one hour.

This Uni-Cub sets both hands free while you're riding on it and you can always put down your feet on the floor to feel safe. Moreover, it offsets shocks when you bump an obstacle or people in crowded places, said 52-year-old Chief Engineer Kenichi Sueda.

Besides its core automotive business, Honda has been developing other technologies including a humanoid robot and the HondaJet aircraft.

Honda says it has developed various versions of the Uni-Cub since the start of research into core technologies, such as balance control, which began in 1989.

According to the Japan Research Institute, the personal mobility device market in Japan could be as big as the market size for bicycles.The company says they have no plans to sell the machine at the present time.