The L.A. rock band OK Go is famous for its lively viral music videos featuring highly choreographed routines using treadmills, optical illusions and elaborate product placement.
The band's latest video - for the their new track "I Won't Let You Down" - is another viral sensation, racking up almost 9 million views in just four days. The video features the band riding what appears to be high-tech motorized unicycles, along with an alarming number of umbrella-wielding Japanese school girls.
Honda Makes a Unicycle-Like Mobility Device
Filmed at an abandoned warehouse complex outside of Tokyo, the video was funded by Honda and features the company's UNI-CUB β personal mobility device. First introduced in 2012, the device uses a proprietary balance control and driving wheel system designed for close quarter maneuvering in buildings and crowds.
OK Go makes good use of the technology by performing a complex Busby Berkeley style routine showcasing the device's surprising range of movement. Sort of like a Segway with a seat, the UNI-CUB β allows riders to achieve a full 360-degree range of lateral movement -- forward, backward, side-to-side or diagonally -- simply by shifting their weight.
Designed primarily for indoor use, the UNI-CUB β is powered by a lithium-ion battery and weighs about 55 pounds, with a battery life of about 1.5 hours at an average speed of 2.5 mph.
Hexo+: Your Own Flying Pet Video Camera
As the five-minute video unspools - in one unbroken take, mind you - the camera zips around and shoots up into the sky, looking down on the 1,500 volunteer dancers below. Film director Morihiro Harano told Billboard magazine that he used an "octocopter" drone platform to move the camera, using both GPS and hand-held controls.
In the video's final scene, the drone camera ascends to an altitude of nearly half a mile, as the dancers below use their umbrellas to the illusion of an impossible scrolling pixel display. It's a pretty great trick, and the creative team says it took about 50 to 60 tries to get it right. Check it out.