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.

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Richard Leis

Richard Leis is a writer and poet living in Tucson, Arizona. His poetry has been published in Impossible Archetype. His essays about fairy tales and technology have been published on Tiny Donkey and Fairy Tale Review’s “Fairy-Tale Files“.