The Segway Revolution that Wasn’t; and the one that Is

When the Segway Human Transporter (HT) was unveiled a few years ago, most people reacted with a collective “That’s it?” and the expected transportation revolution never materialized. Interestingly enough, however, the few people who have actually tried and/or bought an HT have a completely different reaction. exhilarated praise. To take advantage of this fact, Segway has opened up dealerships were people can take a test drive, in hopes of spurring interest and, of course, sales.

The HT itself may not revolutionize transportation, but the self-balancing technology on which it was based has turned out to be revolutionary for a new generation of mobility devices for the handicapped and another group of individuals looking for mobility solutions.

Robots.

Space.com is reporting on the work of various research groups using the “Segway Robotic Mobility Platform” to build robots that can open doors, play soccer, or roll into hazardous areas. The mobility platform provides a solution for mobility issues in robots, allowing researchers to focus on other problems. By eliminating the human-centric design of the original Segway, an upcoming revision to the platform will make it easier to attach robotic payloads.

Humans just might get into the act yet. Popular Science was lucky enough to get the scoop on Segway’s successor to the HT. This new vehicle might just change the world yet.

Published by

Richard Leis

Richard Leis is a writer and poet. His first published poem, "Roadside Freak Show," arrives on August 21, 2017 in Impossible Archetype.  His essays about fairy tales and technology have been published on Tiny Donkey. Richard is also the Downlink Lead for the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) team at the University of Arizona. He monitors images of the Martian surface taken by the HiRISE camera located on board the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter in orbit around Mars and helps ensure they process successfully and are validated for quick release to the science community and public. Once upon a time, Richard wrote and edited the science and technology news and commentary website Frontier Channel, hosted the RADIO Frontier Channel podcast, and organized transhumanist clubs. Follow Richard on his website (richardleis.com), on Goodreads (richardleis), Twitter (@richardleisjr), and Facebook (richardleisjr).