Honda Unveils Revolutionary ‘UNI-ONE’ Hands-Free Wheelchair Prototype for Enhanced Mobility.

November 02, 2023

In a significant leap forward in the realm of mobility solutions, Honda Robotics has introduced a pioneering prototype known as the ‘UNI-ONE,’ a hands-free wheelchair that operates with body weight adjustments, akin to a Segway. This groundbreaking innovation is designed to empower individuals with mobility challenges by providing them with the freedom to move effortlessly and engage more naturally with their surroundings.

The UNI-ONE represents a remarkable fusion of the traditional wheelchair and the agility of a Segway. Once seated and securely strapped in, users are gently lifted to a semi-seated position, positioning them at approximately eye level with those standing beside them. The beauty of this invention lies in its intuitive control – users can effortlessly steer the UNI-ONE by shifting their body weight, granting them unprecedented independence. Alternatively, a joystick can be used for control if preferred from a lowered position.

One of the fundamental limitations of conventional wheelchairs is the seated position, which can hinder natural communication and social interaction. The UNI-ONE’s innovative design addresses this challenge by elevating the user, making eye-level conversations a reality. This vital feature fosters inclusivity and helps users engage more effectively with their surroundings.

The UNI-ONE is battery-powered, offering an impressive range of approximately 5 miles or two hours of continuous use, with a top speed just below 4 miles per hour. These specifications ensure users can confidently navigate their environments with ease.

While the UNI-ONE is currently in the prototype stage, Honda has ambitious plans to launch it in 2025, beginning with the United States and Japanese markets. In a departure from traditional sales, Honda intends to offer a leasing model for the UNI-ONE, with a reported monthly fee of around $800 in Japan (cost details for the US market are yet to be confirmed).

The UNI-ONE’s groundbreaking design holds immense promise for individuals with mobility challenges, as it enhances their ability to engage with the world around them. By raising users to a semi-seated position at eye level with others, it promotes inclusivity, ease of communication, and more natural social interactions. As this innovative technology evolves, it is hoped that it will inspire other companies to invest in similar solutions, ultimately making them more widely accessible in the future.





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