The Freego Cuts Walking Time To A Minimum, Doesn't Pollute
Maine freshman state Rep. Brian Mannal, a Democrat from Barnstable, knows how to make an entrance: by Segway. Okay, fine, his vehicle of choice when going door-to-door as part of his re-election campaign isn't technically a Segway but the "Chinese version" of the self-balancing, two-wheeled scooter.
Toyota announced this week that they have began public testing of their Winglet personal transportation device at the Tsukuba Mobility Robot Experimental Zone in Japan. Part of Toyota's "Parter Robot" initiative, the Winglet aims to "[contribute] to the development of a society where mobility is safe, freely accessible, and fun," according to a statement from Toyota.
Toyota has just now started testing a two-wheeled Segway-like vehicle that it first trumpeted almost five years ago, but when the vehicle in question tops out at less then four miles per hour, these things do take time. Toyota's Winglet, which the Japanese automaker first announced to the world in August 2008, has started public trials on the streets of Tsukuba, Japan, as the company looks to get more information on the stand-up vehicles safety and maneuverability.
Yes, things are getting worse for Segway. In 2010, the electric scooter was named one of the 50 worst inventions of all time. Later that year, the CEO of the UK sales company, Hesco Bastion, died piloting his Segway off a cliff and into a river. Now, Disneyland says that it's too dangerous to ride in its park, and a California appeals court agrees.
It would be impossible to reinvent the wheel, but reinventing how we get around on one is exactly what small New Zealand-based YikeBike Ltd hopes to do. If you ever see one of these little YikeBikes, you'll quickly notice that it is ridden in a unique fashion. YikeBike hopes to do what the Segway couldn't: take human mobility full-circle.
Audi has lifted the wraps on its latest design innovation, the A0, a sort of sit-down half-Segway stroller for grown ups. It may only have one wheel, but the runabout was engineered with a single, hollow tire to self-stabilize.
According to the BBC, Jimi Heselden, the CEO of Hesco Bastion, was killed on Sunday, September 26 when he apparently rode his Segway off of a cliff and into a river. Hesco Bastion sells Segway self-balancing scooters in the UK market.
We'll admit, the Segway may not be the one of the most well-thought-out products of all time, but it serves its purpose for those that like to draw attention at California beaches or those who just need to scoot around in New York City without moving their legs. So it comes as quite a surprise that TIME magazine lists the Segway amongst the "50 Worst Inventions" of all time.
Is the Segway a failure? That's the question that inventor Dean Kamen is reportedly grappling with, as the so-called Human or Personal Transporter has failed to live up to the sales goals set for it when it was launched back in 2001 with a great deal of fanfare. In fact, it was so hyped when first introduced that it would have been nearly impossible for the self-balancing 2-wheeled machine to meet such lofty expectations. Another major problem with the Segway is that there are few places where t