Honda makes vehicles of numerous types. From automobiles, to ATVs, to motorcycles, to snowmobiles and so on. Now they are adding an additional model to their lineup and this one comes with only one wheel attached. Honda unveiled the U3-X mobility device just days ago as they look to expand their reach into the personal mobility sector.
The U3-X is in the experimental stage and will be officially unveiled at the Tokyo Motor Show a month from now. The U3-X mobility device features a single wheel with incorporated balance control technology. Honda believes that the U3-X features the world's first omni-directional wheel which allows the occupant to move forward, backward, side to side, and diagonally on only one wheel. The device moves by simply leaning your body in the direction you want to go.
The U3-X is powered by a small lithium-ion battery and can run for up to an hour before requiring a recharge. It weighs in at only 22 pounds. The user operates the device by unfolding a seat from the upper portion and grabbing the handles that are built into the seat. Then you place your feet on the footrest, lean in any direction, and off you go.
In order to make the U3-X omni-directional, Honda used several small wheels connecting them together in a single line which is then formed into one large diameter wheel. The small wheels can move side to side freely allowing the device to travel in any direction. Once moving in a straight line, all of the small wheels lock into position to become a single large wheel. The system is called the HOT Drive System. HOT stands for Honda Omni-Traction.
For now, the U3-X is considered experimental. At this time, Honda has not commented on pricing or a possible release date. Honda will release additional information about this unique mobility device at the upcoming Tokyo Motor Show starting on October 24th.
Source: Honda Press Release