Today at Intermot 2012, Honda unveiled the CRF450 Rally, the machine it plans to enter in the 2013 Dakar Rally, marking the manufacturer’s return to the race after more than two decades. Honda has competed nine times from 1981 in the forerunner of the present Dakar Rally, the Paris-Dakar Rally. Cyril Neveu of France took Honda […]
Honda Reveals New UNI-CUB β Personal Mobility Device
Still looks like a penguin - but a different species of penguin
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.