Honda announced a new, smaller version of its UNI-CUB personal mobility device which will be displayed at Tokyo Motor Show later this month. Like its predecessor, Honda will continue to test the UNI-CUB β (Beta) in real office environments while considering how to monetize it,
The new UNI-CUB β uses the same Honda Omni Traction Drive System previously used in the 2012 UNI-CUB and its predecessor, the Honda U3-X. Based on technology developed for Honda’s Asimo robot, the HOT Drive System allows a rider to make the UNI-CUB β to move forward, backward, side-to-side or diagonally by simply shifting body weight in the intended direction. In a way, it’s similar to how a motorcyclist leans into a turn.
Like the first UNI-CUB, the Beta is powered by a lithium-ion battery. Both versions claim a top speed of 3.7 mph and a range of about 3.7 miles at a constant speed of 2.5 mph.
The Beta is 20.1 inches long, 12.4 inches wide and 24.4 inches tall, making it smaller than the first UNI-CUB which measures 20.5 x 13.6 x 29.3 inches. With a seat height of 24.4 inches, UNI-CUB β riders will be positioned lower than on the previous version which has a height that varies from 29.3 to 32.5 inches.
We don’t know how heavy the first UNI-CUB is, but Honda says the 55.1-pound Beta version is lighter than the original. Besides being smaller in size, the UNI-CUB β has a softer seat for a more comfortable ride and to reduce the impact shock from collisions with other people or objects. The Beta also has a stand to stabilize it when not in motion.
The styling has also been updated, so instead of looking like an African Penguin:
… the UNI-CUB β looks like a Chinstrap Penguin.