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Honda's Answer To the Segway

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the will-change-how-cities-are-built dept.

Transportation 247

lcreech writes with an excerpt from the Daily Mail's description of a new Segway-style one-person vehicle being shown off by Honda: "The vehicle looks like a very modern unicycle and to ride it you simply lean your weight in the direction you want to go, whether that's forward, backwards or even sideways. It maintains its own balance travelling up to 3.7MPH. Not very fast."

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Good and bad, computer chair version and some beer (5, Insightful)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#29531699)

Lets be happy that we're probably the last generation that can watch how the beautiful girls walk on street in their red dresses and nice legs and ass. Sooner or later this will be reality, in a bad and a good way. While convenience is nice, it has bad sides too.

That being said, I would so use this. Can I get a comfortable computer chair version too, so I can get a beer easily (and one of those japanese beer serving machines [youtube.com] please )

Re:Good and bad, computer chair version and some b (4, Interesting)

russ1337 (938915) | more than 4 years ago | (#29531901)

that was my first thought... an awesome office chair.

Second thought was that it will work some muscles that aren't normally used.. with all that leaning moving and stuff...

Re:Good and bad, computer chair version and some b (1)

Captain Splendid (673276) | more than 4 years ago | (#29531991)

that was my first thought... an awesome office chair.

I was thinking more along the lines of tarted-up unicycle, which just makes me want a real (oldschool) unicycle. Damn you, Slashdot!

Japs, Chinamen, and drunken Russians: Seqway --]] (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29532317)

Hiromoto the Jap can copy and make it better !

Wang the chinaman can copy and make it cheaper !!

Ivan the drunken Russian can copy and make it so it fails, because in Soviet Russia, well, that's the way it is .

Yea, yea, boo-hoo, but it's troo-troo !!!

Yes, but where is the "RISK OF DEATH" label? (3, Informative)

Futurepower(R) (558542) | more than 4 years ago | (#29532531)

"... an awesome office chair."

Except, with the Honda vehicle, if there is a failure in the computer system, you die. But we Slashdot readers know that computer failures hardly ever happen, right?

Segways made me appreciate bicycles. If you hit something large, like a rock, it's possible you will be carried over it. Bicycles have no computer system to fail, and they are inexpensive.

I rode a Segway. It had a RISK OF DEATH [flickr.com] (all caps) label.

My experience of that article about Honda is that it says to me, "Buy a Toyota. That company concentrates on doing one thing well." I recently bought a Toyota because Consumer Reports said Hondas had automatic transmission problems.

Re:Good and bad, computer chair version and some b (1, Insightful)

Kokuyo (549451) | more than 4 years ago | (#29531967)

Nice legs and ass? Dude, where do you live and how do your real estate prices look?

Since bone-skinny has become synonym for sexy, healthy and so on, it's become hard to even FIND women with boobs or asses AT ALL. And the legs? Straight sticks, man. Nothing curvy about that! On the plus side, their hips can easily be used as hooks for your jacket...

Obesity rates? (2, Informative)

sjbe (173966) | more than 4 years ago | (#29532051)

Since bone-skinny has become synonym for sexy, healthy and so on, it's become hard to even FIND women with boobs or asses AT ALL.

You must not live in the US because we have female obesity rates above 30% [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Good and bad, computer chair version and some b (1, Informative)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#29532191)

Scandinavia. In increasing amounts girls are getting "a little round" because of McDonalds and other US shit, but theres still lots of nice blond girls around. Not obese, not skinny, but just the perfect :) Blond girls with ponytails, ah 3

Re:Good and bad, computer chair version and some b (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29532297)

What the hell? Go to the mall dude... you won't be disappointed.

Re:Good and bad, computer chair version and some b (1)

DCheesi (150068) | more than 4 years ago | (#29532035)

I'm waiting for one of those cool lounge chairs from Wall-E...

Re:Good and bad, computer chair version and some b (2, Insightful)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 4 years ago | (#29532043)

Lets be happy that we're probably the last generation that can watch how the beautiful girls walk on street in their red dresses and nice legs and ass.

"Probably"? Bicycles, roller blades, cars, and segways have failed to prevent this sight from occurring.

Re:Good and bad, computer chair version and some b (4, Funny)

Kell Bengal (711123) | more than 4 years ago | (#29532105)

Where I live there is a disturbing number of scooters for the grossly obese - those people who are so corpulent that even walking is beyond them. Whenever I see one, I get to thinking that the only reason why Segways haven't brought on the chubpocalypse is because they were priced too high for lower income people (who have the highest rate of obesity) to afford.

Re:Good and bad, computer chair version and some b (1)

StayFrosty (1521445) | more than 4 years ago | (#29532413)

Scooters are probably easier because people can sit on them. Segways are too much work because you have to use your legs to stand.

Re:Good and bad, computer chair version and some b (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29532417)

We're from Canada and last December we took a trip to Florida. We were all aghast at the huge number of fat slobs we saw there. And a lot of them were youngish (
Many of them seemed proud, too, wearing big ol' USA shirts.

What a huge difference a border makes.

Re:Good and bad, computer chair version and some b (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29532497)

Where I live there is a disturbing number of scooters for the grossly obese

This [scooterfatties.info] might be of interest to you, my friend...

Re:Good and bad, computer chair version and some b (2, Interesting)

Hatta (162192) | more than 4 years ago | (#29532327)

Bicycles and roller blades give you a work out. Cars *have* contributed to the obesity epidemic. Obesity is inversely related to the availability of sidewalks in an area. Segways are too dorky to become popular enough to make a difference.

Re:Good and bad, computer chair version and some b (4, Insightful)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 4 years ago | (#29532187)

Don't worry, I'm sure that when horses were first tamed someone bemoaned the loss of walking. I imagine the same thing happened when the carriage was invented, and the bicycle, and the automobile. Pretty girls will still walk, and when they don't they usually get fat, anyway.

Nothing to worry about in that respect.

Re:Good and bad, computer chair version and some b (4, Insightful)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 4 years ago | (#29532491)

The girls who need to ride something around instead of walking reasonable distances don't stay beautiful for long.

Now, there's nothing quite like pretty girls in skirts riding bicycles.

Re:Good and bad, computer chair version and some b (1)

blhack (921171) | more than 4 years ago | (#29532511)

That being said, I would so use this. Can I get a comfortable computer chair version too, so I can get a beer easily (and one of those japanese beer serving machines please)

This is the stupidest thing I have ever seen. Does this thing come with a manual on "Beer Caching Protocol" (BCP)? Because it looks EXTREMELY high latency.

Creepy (1)

dijjnn (227302) | more than 4 years ago | (#29531723)

Cool design, but I think it would be creepy to see people zipping down sidewalks on one of these things ... like they're floating along on an invisible toilet seat.

Creepy, I say!

Re:Creepy -- and SAD (2, Insightful)

citabjockey (624849) | more than 4 years ago | (#29531829)

More evidance that we are just too fat. We need this like we need another McDonalds on the next corner. Our feet are also "designed to be small, safe and unobtrusive enough to mingle with pedestrians or use indoors",

Re:Creepy -- and SAD (1)

abbynormal brain (1637419) | more than 4 years ago | (#29532021)

I *hate* it when fiction becomes reality! DAMN YOU WALL-E! DAMN YOU! [After getting over it] ... I just hope they can make one with heated seat pads and beer holder.

Re:Creepy -- and SAD (1)

dijjnn (227302) | more than 4 years ago | (#29532067)

Hey, I'm fat you insensitive clod!

Re:Creepy -- and SAD (3, Funny)

oldspewey (1303305) | more than 4 years ago | (#29532401)

The solution is to give in an AI, and give it the personality of a 2 or 3 year old toddler. Every couple blocks it will suddenly stop and scream "No! I don't want to go anymore! Carry me!". That way you'd get a nice mix of convenience and unplanned physical exercise.

Re:Creepy (1)

spun (1352) | more than 4 years ago | (#29531909)

I wonder if these devices lock you in with a control rod inserted into your anus, like Mr. Garrison's IT?

Contradiction in terms... (1)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 4 years ago | (#29531947)

I'm not sure the little gyroscopes in that thing will be able to cope with the sort of lard-ass who'd want to buy one.

My review (4, Funny)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 4 years ago | (#29531741)

No handlebars. Less speed than a Segway. Lame.

Re:My review (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29531881)

A parody of taco's ipod review. Funny about 5 times, years ago. Lame.

Re:My review (0, Redundant)

OrangeMonkey11 (1553753) | more than 4 years ago | (#29531929)

it's a unicycle

Not cool enough (4, Interesting)

stjobe (78285) | more than 4 years ago | (#29531767)

Until I get this [gearbits.com] I'm not satisfied.

Re:Not cool enough (1)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#29531807)

I always keep wondering this. How the hell do you keep balance with just one wheel?

Re:Not cool enough (1)

stjobe (78285) | more than 4 years ago | (#29531825)

Gyros, computers, and magic. Last one optional.

Re:Not cool enough (1)

Dog-Cow (21281) | more than 4 years ago | (#29532153)

I'd think if you had magic, the first two would be the optional parts.

Re:Not cool enough (2, Interesting)

stjobe (78285) | more than 4 years ago | (#29532311)

"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic".

Re:Not cool enough (4, Informative)

Tacvek (948259) | more than 4 years ago | (#29532381)

The real answer is that side to side balance is maintained by precession, (like on a bicycle) combined with some additional balancing by shifting body weight (also critical on a bike). Unlike on a bike, steering based corrections to balance are not present. With sufficiently wide wheel unicycles, wheel geometry becomes the primary side to side stabilzing method.

Steering is completely based on leaning in normal unicycles. Normal bicycles also include an additional steering component (the additional wheel that turns).

Forward and backwards balance is maintained by a combination of of creating a mental feedback loop that causes one to vary cycling speed as necessary to keep the seat roughly upright, along with manually shifting weight forwards and backwards.

For electronic unicycles, steering and side to side balance generally are the same as with manual ones. However the forward and backwards stability does not rely on any weight shifting on the part of the rider, but solely on varying the motor speed as needed to keep the seat upright.

Using a feedback system for keeping the seat upright automatically gives the segway-style speed control on these devices. In order to do more traditional style speed controls requires a more complicated system that varies the angle of the seat that the system tries to maintain as necessary such that the average speed remains as desired. Far more complicated, and not needed, so I've not seen any e-unicycle that does not use segway-style speed control.

There are some tricks that allow steering not based on leaning, and some of the e-unicycle designs I have seen use those, but others use lean based steering which works fine, except for at near stationary speeds, but some of these other systems allow for a smaller turning radius.

Re:Not cool enough (1)

TheCycoONE (913189) | more than 4 years ago | (#29532487)

You clearly didn't read the article. By leaning sideways the device moves side ways, it doesn't fall down and you don't compensate for it somehow. This isn't just another motorized unicycle.

Re:Not cool enough (1)

OrangeMonkey11 (1553753) | more than 4 years ago | (#29531853)

But does it go backward and side to side with ease

Just what America needs! (2, Insightful)

Kirin Fenrir (1001780) | more than 4 years ago | (#29531783)

I can do one better. My invention has two wheels, and is entirely human-powered. It's good for the environment, and has a max speed of around 25mph! (legs willing).

I'll call it: a bicycle.

Re:Just what America needs! (2, Funny)

bakawolf (1362361) | more than 4 years ago | (#29531945)

You should patent that!

Re:Just what America needs! (5, Funny)

mdarksbane (587589) | more than 4 years ago | (#29532279)

Bicycles are far too hard on the environment. You have to mine the iron and aluminum ore and burn coal to process it. That not even counting the (imported) petroleum in the great grease, vulcanized rubber in the wheels, and poly-something-or-other foam in the seat.

  Go for the original in environmentally friendly transportation - horses! And when your old model wears out, you can recycle it into glue and dog food!

Re:Just what America needs! (1)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 4 years ago | (#29532429)

When rolling down a 1/2 mile steep hill, I've managed to get my $250 hybrid bike up to 39MPH. Can't QUITE break 40, but 39 is with the whole frame shuddering and wobbling in a pretty frakkin scary way anyway, so I've never dared push it any further. I'm also carrying about 20 pounds of gear (change of clothes, computer, etc). A "real" $1200 unladen road bike would probably bust 45 fairly easily down the same hill, if you could find a cyclist stupid enough to try it.

If he spent an extra $100 on shoes, he might make 46, possibly even 47 if he dropped an extra $500 shoes made of mousefartium or whatever ultralight material is in vogue right now. (I use jogging sneakers and pedal baskets).

So, "max speed" of my bike (if I were selling it as a concept car) would be "around 50MPH", and the road bike would be "around 55MPH".

Your apparent accuracy obviously shows that your marketing skills need work.

Given that, this device probably really maxes out at about 2MPH, and that's for a Japanese citizen. Not known for excessive height. Put my 6'+ American frame on that bad boy, he's gonna have a more little trouble staying upright. :)

Now, overall, I like this idea if it could get up to about 10MPH, especially with as small as it folds. "But, wait," I hear you saying, "there are folding bicycles, too, and they have larger wheels and no need for a recharge! And they'll probably be 1/10 the cost of this thing!"

Oh, yeah, you're right. Never mind.

Re:Just what America needs! (1)

Kirin Fenrir (1001780) | more than 4 years ago | (#29532495)

Watching you argue with yourself is funny, but, downhill shouldn't really count.

You're right, I'm too honest for this marketing gig. That's why I was let go from Best Buy after three months. I didn't lie about Monster cables.

Re:Just what America needs! (1)

Qalthos (1220310) | more than 4 years ago | (#29532541)

A "real" $1200 unladen road bike would probably bust 45 fairly easily down the same hill

African or European?

3.7 MPH?! (2, Informative)

SputnikPanic (927985) | more than 4 years ago | (#29531797)

That's it? Come on, we can walk faster than that!

Re:3.7 MPH?! (4, Funny)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 4 years ago | (#29531813)

Somehow, I am thinking that the people who would use this would not be capable of walking faster.

Re:3.7 MPH?! (1)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 4 years ago | (#29532139)

Somehow, I am thinking that the people who would use this would not be capable of walking faster.

Unfortunately, they're probably also too lazy and uncoordinated to support themselves upright.

Re:3.7 MPH?! (1)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 4 years ago | (#29532447)

Somehow, I think this unit would not be able to carry the weight of the people who would use this.

Boner (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29531821)

The only thing this looks good for is if you have a boner and need to get up speed to force it into a very tight snatch.

sounds familiar (3, Funny)

Brian Gordon (987471) | more than 4 years ago | (#29531823)

The single wheel on the U3-X is made up of many tiny motor-controlled wheels, packed inside the bigger wheel, allowing the device to swerve in any direction.

Sup dawg, we heard you like unicycling so we put some wheels in your wheel so you can unicycle while you unicycle

Re:sounds familiar (4, Interesting)

Animats (122034) | more than 4 years ago | (#29532149)

The single wheel on the U3-X is made up of many tiny motor-controlled wheels, packed inside the bigger wheel, allowing the device to swerve in any direction.

A wheel made of up of smaller wheels [omniwheel.com] is one of the classic bad ideas of robotics. Back in the 1980s, when robot motion planning software barely worked, many mobile robots were "holonomic" or "omni-drive": they could move in any direction without turning first. One of the popular geometries was three big wheels on axes 120 degrees apart [com.com] (that robot is in a display case in the lobby of the computer science building at Stanford), with each big wheel composed of little wheels around the rim. This mechanism can execute any rotation or translation.

The problem is that the little wheels only work on hard, flat terrain. Shag rugs are a problem. Grass, dirt, and mud, no way.

Rule34? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29531875)

Knowing the japanese the way he is sitting on it is by design. Just unzip and go for ramming speed on the nearest female. And the top center picture is either a 'look no hands' or 'sorry, it slipped in by "mistake"'.

self-filtering user group (4, Insightful)

gobbo (567674) | more than 4 years ago | (#29531887)

If you're intrepid enough to sit on a motorized unicycle, automated stabilizers aside, you're very likely able and willing to walk 4mph. So, it's no surprise they don't plan on bringing it to market.

However, nice proof of concept as a base for robots.

Re:self-filtering user group (1)

Brian Gordon (987471) | more than 4 years ago | (#29531979)

Reminds me of the jetsons

No Thanks (2, Funny)

malevolentjelly (1057140) | more than 4 years ago | (#29531889)

I think I'll just go back to riding around town on my goat. He's much faster.

Been done already... (4, Interesting)

jizziknight (976750) | more than 4 years ago | (#29531895)

This place: http://focusdesigns.com/ [focusdesigns.com] has a working version that you can buy today, apparently. It's also more than twice as fast at 10 MPH.

Actually, a lot of people have done this before. Just google "self balancing unicycle" or "powered unicycle".

Re:Been done already... (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 4 years ago | (#29532273)

Fifteen hundred bucks???? Wow, I think I'll buy a bicycle instead. Or a used motorcycle.

Re:Been done already... (3, Insightful)

dlsmith (993896) | more than 4 years ago | (#29532341)

That's hardly the same thing, although it may fit the description in the summary. If you watch the video, you'll see that the Honda vehicle allows the rider to glide around in any direction, kind of like a wheeled stool; the unicycle you're linking to only moves in one dimension (forward or back). It also doesn't maintain left/right balance at all.

It should go without saying that these three self-balancing vehicles—the Segway, the Honda vehicle, and your unicycle—are designed with significantly different applications in mind, despite sharing some similar technology. The Honda vehicle seems best-suited for maneuvering indoors, not as a replacement for your car/bike.

Re:Been done already... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29532349)

Didn't watch the video did we?

A company with a sense of humor... (1)

midicase (902333) | more than 4 years ago | (#29532453)

Just read the FAQ: http://focusdesigns.com/faq/ [focusdesigns.com]

How fast does it go?

An SBU falling vertically through the air will accelerate at an amazing rate of 32 feet per second per second until it reaches its terminal velocity of 193MPH. (We do not recommend traveling this fast.) On level ground and full charge we say it can go 10MPH depending on riders guts (mentally and physically).

Neat (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29531907)

Something like this would be very useful for people with mild to moderate mobility problems (e.g. the elderly, people with neurological disorders, people recovering from an injury). It would be perfectly fine for moving around a home, hospital, grocery store, etc. In these kinds of environments, 3.4 mph is a perfectly good speed.

Re:Neat (1)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 4 years ago | (#29532489)

But you'd need a pretty refined sense of balance and good motor control to use it. People with neurological disorders and the elderly, in general, are not going to have the fine motor control to keep from smashing into other people, and turning them into potential customers... oh, wait, I think I just figured out their business model.

better alternative (1)

narfman0 (979017) | more than 4 years ago | (#29531913)

I thought http://www.superbike.co.uk/imageBank/2/2007_CBR600RR.jpg [superbike.co.uk] was their response to segway. Cheaper, safer, faster, cooler.

Re:better alternative (1)

jandrese (485) | more than 4 years ago | (#29532291)

Safer is debatable. Segways are actually pretty safe just because they don't go very fast.

Nice design (2, Funny)

CosmeticLobotamy (155360) | more than 4 years ago | (#29531917)

So they saw the South Park [damianm.com] version and thought, "Not gay enough. Make the whole thing a penis." And then decided it was too gay and popped a whole through the side to insubstantially reduce the wang-iness.

Typo (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 4 years ago | (#29532369)

Did you mean "popped a whale through the side"?

Not for 70% of Americans (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29531919)

Too fat.

Well (1)

xednieht (1117791) | more than 4 years ago | (#29531925)

That's one way to keep people from driving under the influence, put them on a unicycle. LOL

as a vehicle this seems... ridiculous (1)

GungaDan (195739) | more than 4 years ago | (#29531963)

as an optional attachment for a prosthetic leg it might make more sense. Go go gadget... uncicyle-like-thingy?

stepping stone (4, Interesting)

Ogive17 (691899) | more than 4 years ago | (#29531973)

This is just a proof of concept project. Honda encourages engineers to pursue "pet" projects in mobility. The ones with promise are given more resources. Sometimes they even become actual products, like Honda Jet.

Re:stepping stone (1)

Princeofcups (150855) | more than 4 years ago | (#29532267)

This is just a proof of concept project. Honda encourages engineers to pursue "pet" projects in mobility. The ones with promise are given more resources. Sometimes they even become actual products, like Honda Jet.

Exactly. This vehicle is not practical for real world travel. It suffers from K9 mobility syndrome, which is worse than Dalek mobility syndrome. K9 could only travel on studio flooring or plywood laid on the ground. This thing would not be able to navigate gravel or curbs, and probably not even carpet.

Proper response to Segway: (2, Insightful)

qw0ntum (831414) | more than 4 years ago | (#29532007)

*point and laugh*

Seriously, though. Years late and... conspicuously not needed?

Re:Proper response to Segway: (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 4 years ago | (#29532093)

That's what I was thinking. This sounds about like "Honda's answer to self-inflicted groin injuries!"

Mad Magazine prediction... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29532061)

I have an old Mad Magazine from the late 60's that predicts this device. Everyone gets fat and immobile: hilarity ensues -- it was basically copied in the Walee movie...

Dailymail. (1)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 4 years ago | (#29532069)

Are you sure it's even real?

And I thought it was impossible... (1)

PvtVoid (1252388) | more than 4 years ago | (#29532075)

...they've come up with something that makes you look even dorkier than you would look riding a Segway.

Why? (1)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 4 years ago | (#29532119)

Honda's Answer To the Segway

Did it really need a response?

The way this works is cool. (4, Insightful)

MaWeiTao (908546) | more than 4 years ago | (#29532129)

While in general this thing is completely pointless, the way the wheel itself works is really cool. It's composed of cylinders which form the ring for the main wheel but allow sideways movement. Leave it up to the Japanese to dream up the most useless application for advanced technology, but it's cool that they're exploring unconventional concepts.

Unicycles - quite a good urban vehicle (4, Interesting)

Lemming Mark (849014) | more than 4 years ago | (#29532181)

I commuted to work by unicycle for several years and have done hundreds of miles in total. Modern unicycles have come a long way from the old days of a circus exhibit. There are lot of people who ride very long distances on them. A unicycle won't suit most people for commuting but it actually has more plus points than you'd think ...

* Lighter weight than a bike, relatively easy to pick up and carry, or wheel along.
* Takes less space than a bike to store indoors.
* Cheaper than a bike of equivalent quality.
* Once you're skilled you can "idle" on the spot (or just hop occasionally to shift the thing back under your centre of mass) so you may not have to put a foot down when waiting in traffic or at lights.
* Potentially very mechanically simple.
* Good exercise, including for your core muscles due to the postural component of keeping balanced.

It's also a good attention grabber, if you like that sort of thing. I've observed that a lot of geeks, particularly computer geeks, seem to like unicycling. My guess is that this is because, relative to a bike, it requires a high degree of mental engagement but in a non-intellectual way. So you get to exercise your brain but in a way which distracts you from the pressures of logical thought processes.

There are some commuting unicycles here:
http://www.unicycle.com/shopping/shopdisplayproducts.asp?id=1&subcat=7&cat=Commuter [unicycle.com]
Note that handlebars are available, which allows experienced riders to take some weight of their "bits". Combined with modern saddles, a unicycle is a lot less punishing to your nether regions than you'd expect, though you obviously still need to take care!

Finally, at the high end of the price range, there are unicycles with the Schlumpf (and Kris Holm-Schlumpf) hub-based gearing system. No exposed gearing but you can get something like a 1.5:1 increase in gear ratio, allowing you go go much faster whilst still having the wheel be small and light. In some ways I'd think this would be the best urban commuting unicycle for experienced riders.

There are clear disadvantages to a unicycle to but I figure some folks here might be interested anyhow. Because an unpowered unicycle has made such a good commuting vehicle for me I wouldn't be surprised if an electrical one is actually more practical than you'd expect.

[if anyone wants to find out more, the rec.sport.unicycling newsground, also available as a forum http://unicyclist.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=3 [unicyclist.com] will be able to answer your questions or you can just reply to me here - it's arguably even on topic!]

Re:Unicycles - quite a good urban vehicle (4, Funny)

geekoid (135745) | more than 4 years ago | (#29532265)

"it requires a high degree of mental engagement but in a non-intellectual way."

BING!
"What is Slashdot?"
"Correct"
"I'll take Geek wannabes for 1000, Alex.."

Re:Unicycles - quite a good urban vehicle (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 4 years ago | (#29532433)

It's also a good attention grabber, if you like that sort of thing.

That's exactly my problem with it. I can't go to the park and unicycle around without getting all sorts of attention I don't want. Yeah, it's anti-social, but I'd really rather get the same amount of attention a roller-blader or skate boarder gets. Same thing with juggling. I don't want to show off, I just like the zen state attained when focusing on nothing other than my body and a few objects.

Correct me if I'm wrong... (2, Insightful)

Crudely_Indecent (739699) | more than 4 years ago | (#29532189)

FTA: The single wheel on the U3-X is made up of many tiny motor-controlled wheels, packed inside the bigger wheel, allowing the device to swerve in any direction.

Unicycle [wikipedia.org] : A unicycle is a one-wheeled human-powered vehicle.

Honda's Segway (1)

zorro-z (1423959) | more than 4 years ago | (#29532211)

Wow, Honda's answer to the Segway. Because, obviously, the original Segway was such a runaway success.

Interesting technology (1)

intermodal (534361) | more than 4 years ago | (#29532221)

but the idiocy of the application makes me wish for an electromagnetic pulse to turn the application interesting too. I already want to see Segway users faceplant (I saw a video once and loved it), and this isn't helping the situation.

mod 3own (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29532251)

most people into a The failure of fun to be again. a GAY NIIGER

Toyota i-Real (1)

tomthegeek (1145233) | more than 4 years ago | (#29532253)

From the title I thought TFA was about the Toyota i-Real [gizmodo.com] . Way cooler, it's basically a powered arm chair.

newest fetish porn sex machiine (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29532275)

lean back and ride, ride it!

FInally! (4, Funny)

geekoid (135745) | more than 4 years ago | (#29532287)

Something I can sit on while using my treadmill~

Not a new thing (2, Informative)

Eric Smith (4379) | more than 4 years ago | (#29532289)

Trevor Blackwell has been riding around on a self-balancing motorized unicycle [tlb.org] for years now. His web site even gives instructions for building your own.

Amazing that Honda with its vast R&D and engineering resources is now able to produce something that one guy as a hobby built designed and built for himself years ago. Gosh, I'm really impressed. I'll have my broker buy me some Honda stock immediately.

Re:Not a new thing (1)

Kozz (7764) | more than 4 years ago | (#29532373)

Do you really think they look equivalent? I'd say Mr Blackwell's "eunicycle" is not exactly self-balancing in the same manner as this possible Honda product. Look at his arms out to his sides, constantly "assisting" the allegedly self-balancing device.

Impressive, but not on the level of what Honda seems to have done. I suppose at the very least they'd have entirely different applications.

how does the seat work? (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 4 years ago | (#29532299)

notice the picture on the bottom left, the one with the handle bar

now compare that to the top 3 pictures with the nice executive fellow sitting happily with his pelvic thrust forward

i dunno, but i'm not sure the male prostate doubles as a seat cushion

however, i am quite impressed with takanobusan's ability to tolerate pain and discomfort while smiling serenely

Answer? (1)

FunkyELF (609131) | more than 4 years ago | (#29532321)

The segway was an answer for nothing itself.
Now we have an answer to an answer to a question nobody was asking.

Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29532325)

God (or Mother Nature, if you wish), has even better answer to this stuff, it's called legs. Damn all those crappy substitutes.

Not Interested (1)

eav (701231) | more than 4 years ago | (#29532407)

I'd rather have a powered trike that would do 40 mph for as long as I could pedal.

Sure it's fast (1)

necromcr (836137) | more than 4 years ago | (#29532435)

Just convert it to metrics!

Sore ass (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29532441)

Looks like a personal hemorrhoid machine.

Steve Wozniak already wants one for polo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29532451)

http://www.flickr.com/photos/hackaday/133696060/

Can we get a story link from somewhere else? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29532457)

The scantily-clad women in the sidebar make this story borderline NSFW, at least in the US.

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