Honda UNI-CUB Participating in Hackathon at San Francisco Tech Expo
To us, the UNI-CUB still kind of feels like a weird and hilariously lazy alternative to walking, in spite of its star turn in a pretty awesome OK Go video. But those who are fans of Honda’s self-balancing personal mobility device should head to San Francisco this weekend for “Shape: An AT&T Tech Expo.”
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The Hackathon will pit software developers from around the world against each other, as they compete create software that will allow the UNI-CUB to be operated remotely. Beginning at 6 pm PST on July 15th, developers will be given 24 hours to come up with new ideas. The top 20 teams will pitch their suggestions before a live panel of judges.
“UNI-CUB is a unique personal mobility device that features Honda’s original balance control technology and an omni-directional driving wheel system. We will bring a programmable version of this rideable IoT to the Hackathon where we expect to see new and extraordinary ideas that will show original ways to use this device,” said Shinichiro Kobashi, the UNI-CUB device’s development leader. “By collaborating with the global tech community, not only are Honda engineers able to pursue their dreams, but they can also share knowledge and realize new advances in the application of unique Honda technologies.”
The Hackathon will feature a special version of the UNI-CUB which has been modified with a Robot Operating System compatible API, enabling programmers at AT&T Park to create software that allows the device to be controlled remotely via smartphone. The UNI-CUB’s current system only allows the rider to control the speed and direction of the mobility device while sitting on it.
Honda believes that remote control of the UNI-CUB could expand the rather odd product’s “value and functionality for people.”