It may not be a two-wheeled, self-balancing car, but it's still pretty cool.
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.
53TIME magazine posts 50 worst inventions of all time: includes Segway, flying car, leaded gas and more
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.
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