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April 15, 2017

Üo is a sphere-wheeled device that can drive in any direction

by John_A

Why it matters to you

Like unusual transportation? The Üo, a sphere-wheeled scooter that can travel in any direction, could be the next Segway.

If you’re the kind of person who likes, um, unique forms of transportation, but who finds the Segway a bit too mainstream, you may want to get your hands on a new Kickstarter project called the Üo.

“The Üo is a scooter that rides on a ball, and balances you while standing on it,” creator Olaf Winkler told Digital Trends. “It gives you 360-degree freedom for moving around. It can go sideways, backwards, and every other direction — and can [even] turn around on the spot. The feeling of riding the Üo is very special, perhaps comparable to skiing or skating. It feels amazing, like floating somewhere.”

Winkler said the idea came to him in 2010 while riding the aforementioned Segway, which for years has stood in as the epitome of alternative, slightly geeky transportation methods.

“The first tries were funny hemisphere constructs with pipes attached,” he continued. “When I switched to omni-wheels a little later, I definitely wanted to make [this a real product]. In 2015, I quit my job in automotive electronics development and dedicated myself full-time to the Üo as a solo entrepreneur.”

Steering the Üo looks like a bit of a challenge, but Winkler assures us it’s not all that tough. To control the direction, you use the joystick on top of the stick. Each Üo is powered by three motors, each capable of delivering 450W of mechanical power — while there are also battery-powered versions available. It’s apparently intuitive, although we’ll have to try it out for ourselves to know for sure.

Shipping for the scooter is set for this October, with prices starting at 1,249 euros ($1,327). No, that’s not cheap — but being an ahead-of-your-time hipster on a futuristic Segway alternative never is!

“Everybody who likes having fun outside and who appreciates exciting technology will enjoy riding the Üo,” Winkler said. “It can also be an icebreaker to draw the attention of passers-by.” With a bit of luck, they may even think you’re a time traveler from the future, come back for a vacation.

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