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Honda’s Beta Personal Transportation Device


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22. November 2013

Honda’s Beta Personal Transportation Device

Remember the Segway?

Perhaps remembrance isn’t required, as you may have spotted public safety officers rolling through airports or downtown areas on the personal transporters (which we’ve now learned are called “robotic mobility platforms”), or have seen people taking “Segway tours” in major urban tourist areas.

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Here’s another lesser-known reason why Steve Jobs was a design genius: according to Steve Kemper in his book about the development of the Segway, Code Name Ginger, when he first saw it, Jobs remarked, of the design, “I think it sucks.”

Honda has been pursing tech of this nature—known as “personal mobility devices” for a while. Last year it introduced the UNI-CUB, which allow people to drive around.

It has taken user feedback and developed the UNI-CUB β.

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The vehicle measures 510 x 315 x 620 mm. It is powered by a lithium-ion battery, and has a maximum speed of 3 mph and a range of 3 miles. It is specifically engineered for barrier-free indoor environments.

One wonders what Jobs would have made of the design. . . .

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