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    If you went to KLIMS, you must have seen the very amazing one wheel vehicle which can balance itself and move towards all direction. It is called the U3-X. When we saw Honda representative doing the demonstration, we feel quite shocked and keep asking on how this thing works on a single wheel.

    U3-X, a future personal vehicle actually have 2 different wheels. One is what you can see which is the big wheel. And the other one is inside the big wheel which has so many small wheels that control sideways movement. While Honda using its own technology to make all the wheels control the balancing of the whole U3-X. They may use the Gyroscope like the one in Segway (2 wheel vehicle)



    Honda has developed a new personal mobility technology, U3-X. It is a compact experimental device that fits comfortably between the riders 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 Hondas balance control technology, which was developed through the robotics research of ASIMO, Hondas bipedal humanoid robot, and the worlds 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.


    Key features of U3-X:

    Free movement just as in human walking
    1.Device control featuring application of balance control technology cultivated through ASIMO research:
    The incline sensor detects the incline of the device based on the weight shift of the rider and determines the riders intention in terms of the direction and speed. Based on the data, precise control is applied to return the device to an upright position, which achieves smooth and agile movements and simple operation by weight shift only.

    2.HOT Drive System (Omni-directional driving wheel system):
    Honda developed the worlds first wheel structure which enables movement in all directions including forward, backward, side-to-side and diagonally. Multiple small-diameter motor-controlled wheels were connected in-line to form one large-diameter wheel. By moving the large-diameter wheel, the device moves forward and backward, and by moving small-diameter wheels, the device moves side-to-side. By combining these movements the device moves diagonally.

    Compact size which fit between the users legs
    3.Compact and innovative package:
    The combination of the balance control technology and the HOT Drive System enabled the one-wheel style compact and innovative package of the device. In addition, the device adopts a light-weight monocoque body in which the foldable seat, footrests and body cover that also function as the frame are stored in the body of the device, achieving highly portable convenience.

    The Honda U3-X is a self-balancing one-wheeled electric vehicle similar to the Segway PT. Honda developed the U3-X with technology originally developed for ASIMO the bi-pedal human robot project. Honda states that the “U” stands for unicycle and for universal. It weighs 10 kg (22 lb) and travels at 6 km/h (3.7 mph), a similar speed to the Toyota Winglet.

    It was unveiled by Honda’s CEO on September 24, 2009 and it was announced that it would be shown at the 2009 Tokyo Motor Show. Time Magazine called it one of the 50 best inventions of 2009. In April 2010, Honda engineers did a short demonstration of two of the devices in Times Square, New York City.

    Honda U3-X 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. It uses Honda Omni-Traction (HOT) drive system to permit it to move in any lateral direction.

    It has not been announced yet whether the vehicle will be offered for consumer sale.


    Length 313 mm
    Width (stowed) 160 mm
    Height (stowed) 647 mm
    Weight < 10 kg (22 lbs)
    Top speed 6 km/h
    Drive system: Omni Traction Drive System
    Battery type: Lithium-ion battery
    Operation time: ~1 hour

    [youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tt-Kohf86yI&feature=channel 425 344]

    According to the press release on Business Wire, the U3-X is the world’s first wheeled system that can move in any direction. Termed the Honda Omni-Traction (HOT) drive system, the large wheel is composed of smaller wheels in a perpendicular direction. When the big wheel moves U3-X goes forward or backwards. Small wheels control lateral motion. Add them together and you get omnidirectional movement. This is impressive, and it’s the first such single-wheel system, but we’ve seen universal movement in other applications like ballbot, the remote controlled spherical robot, and even Rovio. The U3-X wheel is cool, but it’s first only by a technicality.

    [youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zCSQPnGkt78 425 344]

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    1 Response

    1. I spent a few minutes studying and checking the facts. Everything
      is crystal clear and understandable. I
      like posts that fill in your knowledge gaps. This one is of that type.
      Moreover, I like the way the author organized his thoughts as well as the visual component.

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