Riding Honda's U3-X personal mobility prototype is easy. Very easy. Gut-fatteningly, motivation-drainingly, muscle-atrophyingly easy.
The U3-X is a continuation of Honda's unofficial human meat puppetry project, which started in 2008 with a set of assistive robo-legs, and will end with, well, Wall-E. Conceptually, it sits somewhere between two other historically dignified modes of transportation, the unicycle and the Segway. It supports the rider's weight with an omnidirectional wheel, which is actually made of smaller, perpendicularly aligned wheels, and which responds to slight movements in the rider's upper body; a shift of the shoulder in any direction eases the rider across the floor, in a surprisingly predictable and controllable way. It doesn't feel like rolling so much as it feels like floating.