Honda UNI-CUB mobility device will definitely make us all obese

Honda UNI-CUB sample photo

Remember that scene in WALL-E when our robot protagonist finally falls into the realm of the Axiom ship, only to find that all the humans are morbidly obese and sitting on floating chairs, consuming only liquid meals, and have nearly forgotten how to walk? That’s the feeling we get when we see this UNI-CUB mobility device recently announced by Honda.

Honda UNI-CUB chair modelA brother of the U3-X personal mobility device, the tiny UNI-CUB chair contains an omni-direction wheel and a second, smaller wheel base that both help maintain the user’s balance. The device moves at a top speed of 6 kilometers per hour, or 3.7 mph. Users can control the speed and direction from their smartphone or tablet… because nothing’s better than watching where you’re going than looking down at your gadget. To the UNI-CUB’s credit, direction can also be controlled by shifting your weight while on the pressure-sensitive, saddle style cushion. The machine can also climb inclined paths and gradients.

“This UNI-CUB sets your hands free while you’re riding on it and you can always put down your feet to feel safe,” said Kenichi Sueda, Honda’s chief engineer. “Moreover, it offsets shocks when you bump an obstacle or people in crowded places.”

Unlike the segway, the UNI-CUB has a much more minimal design and maintains a fairly leveled height so users aren’t towering over other people when they hop on the machine. Using lithium-ion battery, the full charge can get the UNI-CUB running for 6 km or 3.7 miles, and it is not specified how much weight the device can withstand. While the mobility concept is kind of cool especially for those who actually need the help, but we have to admit we fear for the future adaptations of this machine. If it gets to the point of the average person preferring to use these devices over actually walking, WALL-E may have it right after all with the future of our mankind.

A demonstration of the UNI-CUB is set to be unveiled in June at the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation in Japan. In the mean time, here’s a video of the Honda UNI-CUB in action.

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: A.I.-powered cat toys, wallets, food containers

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Photography

Free your digital memories, and frame them, with the best photo printers

Printed photos are experiencing a revival at the moment, but you don’t need to go to a special lab. Here’s our favorite options for making quality prints, from pocket-sized printers to wide-format photo printers capable of spitting out…
Cars

'4WD' or 'AWD'? Which setup is right for you?

Although four-wheel drive (4WD) and all-wheel drive (AWD) are related, they are actually quite different in how they operate. Here, we talk about the fundamental differences between the two systems, and what it means for you as a driver.
Cars

Room to roam: The supersized X7 is unlike any BMW you’ve ever seen

The first-ever BMW X7 is the 7 Series of the SUV world in terms of size, price, and image. Its supersized body has enough room for seven adult passengers and enough tech to impress even the most cutting-edge buyers.
Emerging Tech

Death from above? How we’re preparing for a future filled with weaponized drones

Drones are beginning to enable everything from search & rescue, to the delivery of medicines to hard-to-reach places. But they are also being used as cheap, and deadly flying bombs. How can we defend ourselves?
Emerging Tech

Behind the unsettling sci-fi landscapes of Simon Stalenhag’s ‘Electric State’

The narrative artbook follows the journey of a young traveler, Michelle, and her robot, Skip, as they head west to the Pacific coast through an alternative America torn apart by civil war and the trappings of military-grade virtual reality.
Product Review

Parrot Anafi drone review

It’s definitely not perfect, and there are a few little things that could be improved, but even so, Anafi is unquestionably the best drone that Parrot has ever made.
Emerging Tech

Get your head in the clouds with the best vaporizers for flower and concentrates

Why combust dead plant matter when you could vaporize the good stuff and leave the leaves behind? Here's a rundown of the best vaporizers money can buy, no matter what your style is.
Emerging Tech

Get one of the best cheap drones you can buy, and cry less when you crash

Want to get in on all this hot drone action, but don't want to spend half a paycheck to make it happen? There are actually lots of feature-packed budget options. Check out this list of the best drones under $500.
Emerging Tech

Here are the best (and least likely to explode) hoverboards you can buy

With widespread reports of cheap, knock-off Chinese hoverboards exploding, these self-balancing scooters may be getting a rough reputation. They're not all bad, though. Ride in style with our picks for the best -- and safest -- hoverboards
Emerging Tech

Looking for a good read? Here are the best, most eye-opening books about tech

Sometimes it's sensible to put down the gadgets and pick up a good old-fashioned book -- to read about the latest gadgets, of course. Here are the tech books you need to check out.
Emerging Tech

SpaceX Starlink: Here’s everything you need to know

SpaceX Starlink is the name of Elon Musk's ambitious plan to blanket the globe with high speed broadband internet via a network of satellites. Here's everything you need to know about it
Emerging Tech

Flying food: Uber has set a target date to use drones for meal delivery

Uber is better known for transporting people around town, but it also has a growing meal-delivery business called UberEats. It currently uses drivers and cyclists to deliver the food, but also has plans to use drones.
Wearables

NYPD pulls thousands of body cams after one explodes

The NYPD has recalled thousands of body cameras after one of them exploded during an officer's shift on Sunday, October 21. No one was injured in the incident, which is thought to have been caused by the device's battery.