Honda announces Uni-Cub β before the Tokyo Motor Show.

Honda has announced what can be considered version 2.0 of its Uni-Cub personal mobility device released last year, the Uni-Cub β, which features a small list of improvements to make it safer and easier to use. It'll be on display at the Tokyo Motor Show next week.

The Segway-like electric mobility device moves using an omni-directional driving wheel system (developed on its ASIMO robot), which the user operates by shifting his or her weight. It is powered by a lithium-ion battery, has a top speed of 3.7 miles per hour, and a range of 3.7 miles at a speed of 2.5 mph.

Uni-Cub β is smaller and lighter than its predecessor with a lower seating position, making it easier to use for a wider range of people. Additionally, Honda added a stand function, which disables the driving system so users can step onto it more easily and even use it as a tool. Since Uni-Cub β was designed for indoor use, softer materials were employed in the design to lessen the impact if it hits other people or objects. A softer seat makes the thing more comfortable for rolling around the office.

Head below to the press release for more details on the Uni-Cub β.
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Honda Announces New Personal Mobility Device, UNI-CUB β Enhancing Compatibility with People

TOKYO, Japan, November 14, 2013 - Honda Motor Co., Ltd. today unveiled the UNI-CUB β, the new personal mobility device which was made usable for a wider range of people by enhancing the device's compatibility.

The UNI-CUB was first introduced in May 2012 as a new personal mobility device featuring balance control technology and an omni-directional driving wheel system (Honda Omni Traction Drive System) which originates from Honda's research into humanoid robots, represented by the research and development of ASIMO. These technologies allow a UNI-CUB rider to move forward, backward, side-to-side and diagonally simply by shifting body weight and leaning toward the intended direction. Featuring a compact-sized body that is appropriate for maneuvering among other people, the UNI-CUB offers personal mobility in indoor spaces such as offices and commercial facilities.

Since June 2012, Honda has been testing and verifying the potential usefulness of the UNI-CUB through a demonstration testing program conducted jointly with the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation (Miraikan). The UNI-CUB has been used by Miraikan staffs for their transportation within the facility and also by many Miraikan visitors in a wide range of ages for touring around the museum.

The UNI-CUB β was developed by analyzing and incorporating the data and the user feedback through this testing program. With this model, Honda will make another step forward and verify the business feasibility by offering the UNI-CUB β for a variety of uses by other businesses and organizations through a fee-based leasing program.

- Key features of UNI-CUB β

- Made smaller and lighter
Compared to the previous model, the seating position was lowered and the weight was reduced, making the UNI-CUB β usable for a wider range of people.

- Advancement of design and materials
Under the concept of "Harmony with People" and "Harmony with Space," Honda proposed a new design that enhances the sense of unity of the user and the device. In addition, softer materials were adopted in order to make the seat more comfortable and to lessen the impact when the device hits other people or objects.

- Improvement of usability
The ease of getting on and off the device was improved through the addition of a stand function.
In addition, the stand enables the device to be used as a stool when it is not in motion.

Honda will exhibit the UNI-CUB β at the 43rd Tokyo Motor Show 2013. Test riding is also scheduled.

Key specifications of UNI-CUB β

Size (L x W x H): 510 x 315 x 620 mm
Seat height: 620 mm
Weight: 25 kg
Battery type: Lithium-ion battery
Maximum speed: 6 km/h
Traveling range: 6 km (approximately 1.5 hours at the speed of 4 km/h)
Application environment: Barrier-free indoor environments