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.
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