Urban Transport

Feet on: InMotion's R2 self-balancing transporter

The InMotion R2 in action at CES (Photo: Eric Mack/Gizmag.com)
The InMotion R2 in action at CES (Photo: Eric Mack/Gizmag.com)
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The InMotion R2 in action at CES (Photo: Eric Mack/Gizmag.com)
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The InMotion R2 in action at CES (Photo: Eric Mack/Gizmag.com)
The R2 has a detachable handlebar (Photo: Eric Mack/Gizmag.com)
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The R2 has a detachable handlebar (Photo: Eric Mack/Gizmag.com)
The V3 unicycle (Photo: Eric Mack/Gizmag.com)
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The V3 unicycle (Photo: Eric Mack/Gizmag.com)
InMotion's "Smart Scooter" prototype (Photo: Eric Mack/Gizmag.com)
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InMotion's "Smart Scooter" prototype (Photo: Eric Mack/Gizmag.com)
Learning the R2 in seconds (Photo: Gizmag.com)
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Learning the R2 in seconds (Photo: Gizmag.com)
Learning the R2 in seconds (Photo: Gizmag.com)
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Learning the R2 in seconds (Photo: Gizmag.com)
InMotion's "Smart Scooter" prototype (Photo: Eric Mack/Gizmag.com)
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InMotion's "Smart Scooter" prototype (Photo: Eric Mack/Gizmag.com)
The V3 has a retractable handle (Photo: Eric Mack/Gizmag.com)
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The V3 has a retractable handle (Photo: Eric Mack/Gizmag.com)
The V3 and R2 have companion mobile apps (Photo: Eric Mack/Gizmag.com)
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The V3 and R2 have companion mobile apps (Photo: Eric Mack/Gizmag.com)
InMotion's refresh of the R2 self-balancing transporter
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InMotion's refresh of the R2 self-balancing transporter

InMotion has added to the growing list of portable urban "transport appliances" by showing a redesigned version of its flagship R2 device and a companion unicycle at CES 2015. Gizmag took them for a ride in Las Vegas.

Like the Toyota Winglet, the R2 is much less clunky and goofy than the original Segway. An earlier version made an appearance at CES in 2014, and this year InMotion returned with a new redesigned update, as well as the V3 dual-wheel portable electric unicycle and a prototype "smart scooter" that seemed to be for eyes only as reps told us it wasn't yet ready to ride around the show floor.

Like other sensor-controlled vehicles, the R2 and V3 are operated through subtle shifts in the user's weight. The R2 comes with a detachable handlebar that allows for easier control and turns, but it can also be ridden hand-free without the handlebar. There's also a remote control "SmartKey" you can use to start up and lock your R2 from a distance.

The second generation of InMotion's transport device gets a new case design and more powerful motor that the company says has a higher ground clearance allowing it to truck up inclines as steep as 24 degrees. It has a small headlight for night riding and weighs 36 pounds (16.5 kg), making it easy to toss in the trunk or back seat. There's also a new smartphone app that adds navigation functions and lets parents or companies set geo-fenced limits to keep a vehicle within a designated area.

Learning the R2 in seconds (Photo: Gizmag.com)
Learning the R2 in seconds (Photo: Gizmag.com)

We spent some time riding around the CES show floor on an InMotion R2 and found it incredibly easy to get the hang of within just seconds using the handlebar. It feels stable, and while it doesn't take much of a lean forward or backward to start it moving, it is also intuitive and easy to control.

We can't quite say the same for the V3 unicycle model which, like similar products such as Honda's UNI-CUB β and the Solowheel, takes some practice to get used to.

InMotion reps explained that they consider the V3 to be more of an "extreme sports type" of ride for doing tricks that would require some practice time.

The V3 unicycle (Photo: Eric Mack/Gizmag.com)
The V3 unicycle (Photo: Eric Mack/Gizmag.com)

InMotion says the R2 and its predecessor model have seen tens of thousands of units sold in China and has quietly been rolling out in the United States over the last six months. It expects to release the V3 worldwide later in 2015. The R2 costs US $2,499 and while there is no official price just yet for the V3, we were told to expect it to be around $799.

You can watch a quick lesson in riding the R2 below.

Source: InMotion

How to use USA Inmotion SCV

4 comments
mhpr262
In the long term I'll wager the unicycles will be much more successful than the segway type things. No matter how you design them, the Segways and their ilk will always look more like walking aids for the physically handicapped or the geriatric. Healthy persons just look a bit ridiculous on them. The unicycles may be a harder to ride (although there is a video on youtube that show kids learning to ride them in less than three minutes) but I can't imagine it is harder to learn than riding a bicycle, and everybody knows how to do that. In addition, the unicycles are small and light enough to take them on a commuter train with you, for instance. And they actually do look cool. Or at least not as geeky as the segway type scooters. No way I would let myself be seen on a Segway, but I'm seriously thinking about getting a unicycle.
Freyr Gunnar
People must exercise more, not less, so while great for fun, healthwise, this doesn't look like a good idea. Riding a bike provides some form of exercise without wasting time at the gym.
StWils
As these toys spread out adolescents will have to figure out new ways of doing inappropriate stuff at high speed. I can hardly wait for the U-tube and selfie shots especially the new ways of achieving the inevitable hard crotch landings on hand rails, fences, immovable poles, etc.
michaeljones
@mhpr262 that's exactly what I was thinking! Just went for Project42.com academy event last weekend and tried it out and it is totally cool. I've tried other unicycles as well, but inmotion seems to be the easiest to get hold of and it is also quite maneuverable. Took me around 15 minutes to start feeling comfortable. I'm definitely getting one for myself, seems like a great tool for urban commuting.
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