New York, New York – Honda has held the first U.S. demonstration of its U3-X personal mobility prototype, following its introduction at the Tokyo Motor Show last October. The U3-X is being shown at the New York Marriott Marquis Hotel in Times Square, and will be demonstrated again at the 2010 Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) World Congress in Detroit next week.
The U3-X provides a rider with freedom of movement in any direction, including forward, backward, sideways and diagonally, by simply leaning slightly in the desired direction. The compact one-wheeled device features a folding seat and retractable footrests, and is powered by a lithium-ion battery pack that provides up to one hour of use on a charge.
The U3-X uses an advanced Honda proprietary balance-control system, derived from research into human walking dynamics for the development of the ASIMO humanoid robot. The U3-X also employs the world’s first omni-directional driving wheel system, which uses a series of concentrically mounted wheels, including a forward- and backward-moving larger inner wheel and a series of smaller sideways-moving outer wheels. Diagonal motion is achieved when both forward and sideways moving wheels operate in tandem.