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You’ve probably seen vids of this contraption, Honda’s answer to the Segway? I really don’t get it. The human proportions seem all off to me, those “cheek pads” for your butt are just… wrong, and I can’t really see the application. Definitely dig the “Omni Traction” technology.

Honda’s U3-X taken for an awkward squat (video)

Gareth Branwyn

Gareth Branwyn is a freelancer writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture, including the first book about the web (Mosaic Quick Tour) and the Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Building Robots. He is currently working on a best-of collection of his writing, called Borg Like Me.


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Comments

  1. JCoyote says:

    on any significant scale at least. I could see this, with adaption and modification, as a chair-replacement.

    In certain manufacturing, assembly, or desk jobs with multiple desk-level work areas a worker has to move between, this could MAYBE increase workflow. It could also waste a lot of time with races between coworkers. :)

    Segways are more to replace/supplement bicycles, this is more to replace/supplement seats on casters.

    Needs a LOT of work to do that though.

  2. Zach says:

    Can’t see the application? How about the robot seen at http://www.project-apollo.net/mos/mos007.html — and various copies thereof throughout the work?

    1. Jeff says:

      I think an interesting use case for this type of technology would be to assist disabled people. I’m thinking of one man that I see on the street in my town. He has no arms and no legs. He drives a powered wheelchair that he controls with a stick he holds under his chin. Developing a chair that people, in a situation like his, could control much easier would be a very interesting application of this technology.

      On another note, how do you turn the thing? Are you always stuck facing the same direction? It’s cool that it can move sideways and all but turning around seems kind of important.

  3. alandove says:

    Are you kidding? It’s perfectly obvious how useful this is. I mean, it’s at least as useful as a Segway, which is the perfect vehicle for … um … yeah.

    This is why engineers need adult supervision.

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