We've seen our fair share of personal mobility devices over the past few years -- from the ill-received Segway to Toyota's i-Real. Now, Honda's joining the minimalist motoring set with its own limb-atrophying U3-X.
Using technology originally developed for ASIMO the robot, the "U" in U3-X stands for both "universal" and "unicycle," and that's where the interesting tech resides. Housed within the large wheel are a series of smaller wheels that can rotate independently, allowing the awkwardly perched user to go forward, backward, side-to-side or diagonally. Like the Segway, the person piloting the U3-X simply leans in the desired direction to control the movement through the Honda Omni Traction Drive System (HOT).
Honda's keen to point out that the 22-pound U3-X is ultra-portable and easy to use, with fold away footrests and seat cushions. A single, lithium ion battery powers the electric motors up to one hour and the maximum speed is just a few ticks under four MPH.
We'll see the U3-X in person next month at the Tokyo Motor Show, but before then, you can get an eyeful in the gallery below and make the jump for several videos of the U3-X in action, along with Honda's press release.