In the buildup to the highly anticipated Tokyo Motor Show next week, Honda is giving us a peek of the second and improved version of its personal mobility device, the UNI-CUB. This new version – complete with a list of improvements which generally makes the Segway-like device safer to ride – will be called the Uni-Cub β and will be on display at the Tokyo Motor Show.
The Uni-Cub β is smaller and lighter than its predecessor, and Honda has given the new Cub a lower seating position, making it easier to use for a wider range of people. The Uni-Cub β was designed for indoor use, and so softer materials were used 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. Additionally, Honda added a “stand” function, which disables the driving system when the user stands, and also that users can step onto it more easily. The Uni-Cub β uses an omni-directional driving wheel system, primarily developed on Honda’s iconic robot, ASIMO, which the user operates by shifting weight to either side. The device is powered by a lithium-ion battery, has a top speed of 3.7 miles per hour.
This second incarnation of the Uni-Cub β has been in testing since June 2012, and Honda has been verifying the potential usefulness of the device through a testing program with the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation. The Uni-Cub β has been used by museum’s staff for transportation within the facility. Museum visitors also had the chance to test the device while touring around the museum. The new features of the Uni-Cub β were then developed by incorporating the data and the user feedback through this testing program.