First there was the Segway, which promised to revolutionize cities but mostly changed the life of mall cops and tour guides. Then the hoverboards arrived, which were great except for how sometimes they explode. And then there was nothing new for a little bit.
"The inverted pendulum has been thoroughly mined for personal transportation innovations!" we sighed contentedly to ourselves.
But what we didn't expect was Üo, which was spotted by Gizmodo earlier today.
Short for Über-ball, Üo is a self-balancing scooter that uses a single sphere for its "wheel," and which can move and turn in any direction. It also looks like a JPL Mars rover prototype. The passenger platform balances on top of a solid rubber ball, and three motors power the movement, up to speeds of roughly seven miles per hour. Controls are a combination of leaning the contraption for movement, and a joystick for orientation control.
What is this good for? That's probably the wrong question to be asking. The real question is how anyone had the nerve to use a song called "I will deliver" as the background track to their Kickstarter video (of course this is a Kickstarter!) If you're ready to see for yourself if this promise is true, you can get one of the 50 planned Üo production units for a bit under $1,000.