Friday, April 16, 2010

Honda U3-X Personal Mobility Device

OK, these things are really cool, they look like fun,  but I am not sure there is a market for one of these.  I will tell you why I think after the video.

I don't think that this device will ever go past a novelty because it inherently has some problems.
  • You can't navigate large obstacles such as steps and rough terrain.  Every street, building or sidewalk has elevation changes that the wheel just can't navigate.  So at that point, you would have to stop, pick it up and carry it, and then remount.  This is cumbersome.
  • If you watch the video, the people riding it often are holding on to the seat.  The natural human tendency is to hold on to something while a machine moves you around.  Forget carrying anything else.
  • The battery life is limited, I don't care how technologically advanced it is.  At some point, you will be carrying it.
  • And probably the biggest drawback for me is that there is no failsafe.  All machines fail at some point.  When the machine fails, what happens?  Does the wheel lock up or does it roll freely?  Falling forward or to the side wouldn't be too bad, but what about falling backward?
That doesn't mean I wouldn't give it a try if someone handed it to me or gave me one!

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