Thursday, September 24, 2009

Car Companies Using Disabled Tech To Make Segway-like Devices

Honda has created a Segway-like vehicle that is intended for use within the house, office, or sidewalks by people who need assistance with mobility (or by people who wanna show how geeky they are). This unicycle is controlled by an electric motor that allows movement in all directions by simply shifting body weight, which is dubbed the "Honda Omni Traction Drive" system by the carmaker. This system is similar in principle to the systems used on the iBot wheelchair. Here is the press release about it from Honda:

Honda has developed a new personal mobility technology, U3-X. It is a compact experimental device that fits comfortably between the rider's legs, to provide free movement in all directions just as in human walking – forward, backward, side-to-side, and diagonally. Honda will continue research and development of the device including experiments in a real-world environment to verify the practicality of the device.

This new personal mobility device makes it possible to adjust speed and move, turn and stop in all directions when the rider leans the upper body to shift body weight. This was achieved through application of advanced technologies including Honda's balance control technology, which was developed through the robotics research of ASIMO, Honda's bipedal humanoid robot, and the world's first* omni-directional driving wheel system (Honda Omni Traction Drive System, or HOT Drive System), which enables movement in all directions, including not only forward and backward, but also directly to the right and left and diagonally. In addition, this compact size and one-wheel-drive personal mobility device was designed to be friendly to the user and people around it by making it easier for the rider to reach the ground from the footrest and placing the rider on roughly the same eye level as other people or pedestrians.

1 comment:

  1. i love that and wondered if anything like that existed. i always thought they should put a seat on the segway. i hope it will be affordable