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  1. #1
    ptbyjason Guest

    It' Revealed; 'segway' Self-balancing People Mover, Billed As Alternative To Cars

    After months of hype, an inventor is set to unveil an electric scooter being billed as an environmentally friendly alternative to cars.

    Dean Kamen's long-awaited, secret invention, the Segway "will be to the car what the car was to the horse and buggy," he tells TIME on the eve of his product's unveiling.

    Kamen imagines them everywhere: in parks and at Disneyland, on battlefields and factory floors, but especially on downtown sidewalks from Seattle to Shanghai. "Cars are great for going long distances," Kamen says, "but it makes no sense at all for people in cities to use a 4,000-lb. piece of metal to haul their 150-lb asses around town."

    In the future he envisions, cars will be banished from urban centers to make room for millions of "empowered pedestrians" - empowered, naturally, by Kamen's brainchild, reports John Heilemann in next week's issue.

    The invention is set to be unveiled Monday morning during ABC's GOOD MORNING AMERICA.

    MORE

    The Segway is a self-balancing people mover - powered by batteries and controlled by tilt-sensors and five solid state gyroscopes - that looks like a rotary lawnmower. The magic is in the balancing act š no matter how hard you try, it won't let you fall.

    For the past three months, Kamen allowed TIME behind the veil of secrecy as he and his team grappled with the questions that they will confront - about everything from safety and pricing to the challenges of launching a product with the country at war and the economy in recession.

    There is no denying that the Segway, previously code-named "IT" and "Ginger," is an engineering marvel, reports Heilemann, who rode on the machine many times. Developed at a cost of more than $100 million, Kamenis vehicle is a complex bundle of hardware and software that mimics the human bodyis ability to maintain its balance. Not only does it have no brakes, but also no engine, no throttle, no gearshift, and no steering wheel. And it can carry the average rider for a full day, nonstop, on only five cents' worth of electricity.

    Kamen explains how the Segway works: "When you walk, youire really in whatis called a controlled fall. You off-balance yourself, putting one foot in front of the other and falling onto them over and over again. In the same way, when you use a Segway, thereis a gyroscope that acts like your inner ear, a computer that acts like your brain, motors that act like your muscles, wheels that act like your feet. Suddenly, you feel like you have on a pair of magic sneakers, and instead of falling forward, you go sailing across the room."

    As Kamen and his team were working on the IBOT wheelchair š a six-wheel machine that goes up and down curbs, cruises effortlessly through sand or gravel, and climbs stairs - it dawned on them that they were onto something bigger. "We realized we could build a device using very similar technology that could impact how everybody gets around," he says. The IBOT was also the source of Gingeris mysterious codename. "Watching the IBOT, we used to say, ČLook at that light, graceful robot, dancing up the stairsiŠso we started referring to it as Fred Upstairs, after Fred Astaire," Kamen recalls. "After we built Fred, it was only natural to name its smaller partner Ginger." With Ginger, as with the IBOT, Kamen explains, "the big idea is to put a human being into a system where the machine acts an extension of your body."

    With the Segway, Kamen plans to change the world by changing how cities are organized. To Kamenis way of thinking, the problem is the automobile. "Cities need cars like fish need bicycles," he says. Segways, he believes, are ideal for downtown transportation. Unlike cars, they are cheap, clean, efficient, maneuverable. Unlike bicycles, they are designed specifically to be pedestrian friendly. "A bike is too slow and light to mix with trucks in the street but too large and fast to mix with pedestrians on the sidewalk," he argues. "Our machine is compatible with the sidewalk. If a Segway hits you, itis like being hit by another pedestrian."

    Ordinary consumers wonit be able to buy Segways for at least a year, a consumer model is expected to go on sale for about $3,000, Heilemann reports. For now, the first customers will be deep-pocketed institutions such as the U.S. Postal Service and General Electric, the National Parks Service and Amazon.comŠ institutions capable of shelling out $8,000 apiece for industrial-strength models.

    TIME also takes a hard look at the question of whether this product will really make it in the consumer market. "The consumer market is always harder," Intel chairman Andy Grove, who also rode the Segway, told Heilemann. "But when you think about it, the corporate market is almost unlimited. If the Postal Service and FedEx deploy this for all their carriers, the company will be busy for the next five years just keeping up with that demand."
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails It' Revealed; 'segway' Self-balancing People Mover, Billed As Alternative To Cars-03thin.jpg  

  2. #2
    ptbyjason Guest
    Ok, no responses so far. Go to Segway and watch the video of this thing. It makes you look pretty lazy, but I can actually see the functionality of this thing. It could be really good for a big city. It could actually be pretty fun to play around with.

  3. #3
    marx is offline Member
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    Damn, people sure are getting lazy these days. Is it too much to walk? In that vid there's guy's in the forest on that thing, rediculous. What happen's if it rains?

  4. #4
    GenuinePL's Avatar
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    I saw it on TV today, on the news. It looks great, I wouldn't mind to have one, but $3000, that a lot of money

  5. #5
    GenuinePL's Avatar
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    Originally posted by marx
    What happen's if it rains?
    You drive it with umbrella in your hand and goggles on your face LOL

  6. #6
    ptbyjason Guest
    Well the way I look at it, it's just like a bicycle. Well, except there is no work involved. I think it will get really popular, or at least I hope it will. I bought some domain names related to it that I will end up selling, or using them to sell the devices.

  7. #7
    GenuinePL's Avatar
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    Not a bad idea to make some money, when the price goes down you will be a millionare. Good Luck with it (thanks for the other advice)

  8. #8
    partyboynyc is offline Anabolic Member
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    hahaa

    i turned on the news tonigth and saw that.they were like , "new way for new yorkers to get around",hahaha.i see people on those scooters now and then , but these things are out of control!!!i think new yorkers are too stylish to be caught dead on one of those things.maybe the wacky trustfund, starving artist types will scoot round, but i'm guessing that's about it.haha

  9. #9
    Triple Plates's Avatar
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    I'd rather just walk.... hehe and maybe push some of these ppl of when they drive by

  10. #10
    ptbyjason Guest
    I don't know guys. The more video I have seen of this thing, the more I like it. It is totally hands free, with the exception of turning. All you do it lean and it goes forward, backward, stops, speeds up, etc. I'm not saying that this one particular model will be that great, but remember this is the first one. I know this guy will improve on his invention. The guy that created it is an absolute genius. He has invented several things that are revolutionary, and this has been his favorite invention so far. I have a hard time doubting this guy.

  11. #11
    GenuinePL's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Triple Plates
    hehe and maybe push some of these ppl of when they drive by
    That not a bad idea, I think that this could be very useful when you're in teh city and you're bored. LOL I think we should try this

  12. #12
    partyboynyc is offline Anabolic Member
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    hey jay

    what doe sit go for and how fast does it go?it's now a few dyas since i saw that one the news and i forget if they said.

  13. #13
    ptbyjason Guest
    It goes only about 15 - 17 mph I think. And I believe they are going to be $4 grand. Those are all guesses, but I know they are pretty close.

  14. #14
    GenuinePL's Avatar
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    12 mph, $3000

  15. #15
    partyboynyc is offline Anabolic Member
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    the hell w/ that

    EuroTrash style if looking for some alternate way of walking/ driving is the Vespa scooter.i have debated that one for a few years.i think thats' more appropriate for the city.check them out they are at least stylish and some are the same price as that pogostick on wheels.

  16. #16
    ptbyjason Guest
    They were using these things in office buildings in the video, not just outside. It could be fun in a warehouse or something with a lot of room to roam. Have you watched the video yet?

  17. #17
    marx is offline Member
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    I just saw it on tv, and the guys were going off. They were going up ramps and shit and going over rocks, the thing looks pretty stable. It may work if the newer models look a little better...

  18. #18
    ptbyjason Guest
    So your saying that the X games has a new event?

  19. #19
    EXCESS's Avatar
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    Why not just ride a frickin granny scooter? That thing's a joke. Can you say LAZY??? Buy a damn motorbike if you don't walk to walk or drive. Sorry, I'm in a nasty mood right now.

  20. #20
    GenuinePL's Avatar
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    Originally posted by ptbyjason
    So your saying that the X games has a new event?
    HEHE, that's not a bad idea, you just have to increase speed to like 45 mph. lol

  21. #21
    partyboynyc is offline Anabolic Member
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    awwwww excess

    has the barren wasteland of canada got you down brother?hahaha.just fucking w/ you

  22. #22
    GenuinePL's Avatar
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    Re: awwwww excess

    Originally posted by partyboynyc
    has the barren wasteland of canada got you down brother?hahaha.just fucking w/ you

    Watch out, you might fush the bottons to far. Do you know about those Canadian mad mens. LOL JK bro.

  23. #23
    partyboynyc is offline Anabolic Member
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    i'm just playing w/ excess

    he's been my partner in crime in many an unnecessary post whore conversation!!

  24. #24
    Triple Plates's Avatar
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    Originally posted by ptbyjason
    It goes only about 15 - 17 mph I think. And I believe they are going to be $4 grand. Those are all guesses, but I know they are pretty close.
    I heard on the news that when they hit the market they will be 8-10 grand american.... haha thats like a million dollars canadian... plus it wont be availble to the genral public

  25. #25
    EXCESS's Avatar
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    I'm a little bit nervy today, and my glute is a little tender.

  26. #26
    ptbyjason Guest
    Originally posted by Triple Plates


    I heard on the news that when they hit the market they will be 8-10 grand american.... haha thats like a million dollars canadian... plus it wont be availble to the genral public


    Really??? Well that sucks. Anybody want to buy some domains?

  27. #27
    GenuinePL's Avatar
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    I saw the news. They said 12 mph and $3000, I wonder what did you watch, scammer news LOL

  28. #28
    ptbyjason Guest
    Well in that case everyone shop at segwaybargains.com (LOL, yeah I really bought that one) and you can get them for $3,000!!!! Honestly I will probably get rid of the domains, but it is kind of fun to own them for a little while.

  29. #29
    ptbyjason Guest

    Smile Police Officers in Two Cities Will Put Scooters to the Test

    By Pamela Ferdinand
    Special to The Washington Post
    Saturday, December 8, 2001; Page A02



    BOSTON, Dec. 7 -- As pedestrians strolled through Boston Common in mere sneakers and ice skaters whirled around on ordinary metal blades, police officer Vincent Stancato zipped along today like George Jetson on a space-age scooter known as the Segway Human Transporter.

    "It's easy," he said, stepping down from one of the two-wheeled, battery-run contraptions. "There's no reason why any officer couldn't use this as a means of walking his beat."

    Just days after renowned inventor Dean Kamen unveiled his latest brainstorm -- touted as a technological milestone, but greeted as something of a gimmick -- police here and in Kamen's hometown of Manchester, N.H., announced they will try out Segway HTs to determine the feasibility of scooters for law enforcement in urban environments.

    The scooter, which weighs up to 80 pounds and can travel 17 miles per hour, relies on gyroscopes and computers for motion and balance. The industrial model costs $8,000; a consumer version is expected to sell for $3,000.

    The scooter could be used to patrol busy areas such as Faneuil Hall, Stancato said. Officers would have to jump off the machines to apprehend a suspect, he said, but there would be benefits in speed and visibility for officers.

  30. #30
    GenuinePL's Avatar
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    You might get rich

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