Present and Future of the Stand Up Electric Scooter
If someone asks "What do you call that stand-up electric scooter with the funny name?" Most likely they are talking about the Segway PT, which stands for personal transporter. The homophone of segue that means a smooth transition, and the Segway was designed to be so smooth and agile that it could even climb up stairs. A funny story about the code name for the project is that because they wanted a machine to be so smooth and graceful they gave it the code name Ginger, after the Ginger Rogers, the dancing partner of Fred Astaire.
The brain child of Dean Kamen, it is a high tech transportation vehicle that uses computerized gyroscopes and motors to keep its balance as the rider steers by leaning forward and backward as well as left and right on the handlebar. First announced in 2001, the Segway went into production the following year.
If you want to know how much does a Segway scooter cost, you may be surprised to learn that this information is quite a closely guarded secret. At least the price tags are nowhere to be found on the Segway website. We were able to discover a new white color Segway being offered for sale on a popular internet auction site for a starting bid of $4,450, and a used black color model i2, complete with case, had been listed with a "buy it now" price of $4,500. It looked like it was in pretty good condition.
If you are wondering about performance, the top speed is 12.5 miles an hour and the lithium ion batteries last for about 24 miles or 6 hours.
The idea for the Segway looked so good that they now have competition. Toyota has announced they are also going into production of a personal transport assistant they have named Winglet. This Japanese made stand up electric scooter will come in three models, ranging from practical to sporty, and TMC is referring to the project as a "practical robot."