Busking made easy

Blogs such as Downtime that often talk about weird and downright bizarre technology are permanently in debt to Japanese researchers.

If it’s not robots performing obscure household or human tasks in a slightly creepy way, then there’s always some new personal gadget that promises to revolutionise your lifestyle, at least in the eyes of boffins who don’t see a lot of daylight.

The latest innovation will be instantly filed in the same dubious tray as the Sinclair C5 and the Segway, as Honda scientists have created the electric unicycle.

If the thought of a unicycle conjures up images of dodgy street entertainers in perpetual motion for fear of falling flat on their backsides, then Honda’s U3-X should dispel such notions. Using gyroscopes and tiny balancing wheels, the device is capable of staying upright on its own – without a rider – and promises to maintain equilibrium even for the most uncertain passenger.

No doubt somewhere in the Honda labs someone is working on an attachment that auto-juggles a handful of flaming batons, so we can all pop down to Covent Garden and do a bit of electronic busking.