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Honda’s mobility concept device, dubbed the ‘segway of unicycles’ by a keen-eyed pundit, has now hit the Continent where it will remain on display in Paris until August

Honda U3-X’s mobility concept, a self-balancing one-wheeled electric vehicle “inspired by robotic technologies developed for ASIMO”, is making its debut in Europe within an exhibition entitled ‘Getting Around’, on show between April and August 2012 at the Museum of Architecture and in Paris.

First unveiled at the Tokyo Motor Show in 2009 and inspired by ASIMO's ability to find its own balance point, the U3-X can stand upright by controlling its centre of gravity. A mono-wheel traction structure, Honda’s Omni Traction (HOT) Drive System, enables the U3-X to move freely in all directions.

The regular large wheel is actually made up of several small wheels in a series, which can rotate independently, meaning that the device can go forward, backward, side-to-side and diagonally, all being controlled with a simple lean of the rider’s upper body.

It weighs just a pinch under 10kg, is 315mm long, 160mm wide and 650mm high. It has a lithium-ion battery which lasts for one hour.

Honda reckons it can be “used completely intuitively by people in settings such as in museums, airports or shopping centres”. And why couldn’t it replace a bar stool at a pub?

Honda still hasn’t made a decision about mass production. For more information visit www.honda.fr/U3-X.

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Published : Thursday, 19 April 2012
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