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Nissan & AIST create Ski-less Skis

Nissan-AIST-personalmobilitIt seems like Personal Mobility Devices are all the rage these days.  Toyota has their line-up of Winglets, Honda recently showed off their U3-X unicycle, and now Nissan has unveiled their own prototype developed through a partnership with AIST (Japan’s National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science & Technology).  The device has two foot boards, both of which are balanced on two wheels.  The device’s tilt sensors detect when you shift your weight to turn, traveling at a maximum rate of about 5kph.  The foot boards have handle bars attached to help you maintain balance, and can be connected in a variety of positions or separated.

When separated, the device only moves forwards and backwards.  To turn, you simply lift and turn your leg as if you were wearing stilts.  The overall effect is one of ski-less skis.  Whether or not they’ll actually market this device is still up in the air, likely dependent on whether or not their competitors bring their mobility devices to market.

[source: Robonable (JP)] & [AIST Field Robotics site (JP)]