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Segway(35 posts)

SegwayMikeC
Dec 3, 2001 6:38 AM
So what do you think? How will it affect bikes/road conditions? Will it marginalize us further, or reduce auto use and make us seem less outside-the-norm? Will it reduce bike use even more, or introduce more people to traveling outside of the "box?"
http://www.time.com/time/business/article/0,8599,186660,00.html
Surprised so many people guessed what IT waskenyee
Dec 3, 2001 7:05 AM
i.e., the fact that it was motorized. No one guessed about the complex gyroscopes or pitch sensing to control motion though, which are very cool.

Local paper said consumer version will be $6K, not $3K as mentioned in the Time article. It's still bloody expensive. It does seem more convenient than a bike simply because of the size (you can't drag a bike w/ you while shopping in a store).

And as for urban centers banning cars, I doubt that will ever happen. If anything, NYC would have done it long ago. I'd personally like to see how the Segway does in Boston's potholed streets. I can see hitting a pothole, then leaning back from the impact and have the Segway think you want to go backwards ;-)
I thinks it's awesome...Yodleboy
Dec 3, 2001 7:43 AM
This is going to be great. I can't wait to get a chance to try it out. As for price, remember 10 years ago when the avg PC was $3K? Maybe cities would fix all those damn holes if there weren't so many cars tearing the roads up again in 2 months...
To see an illustration...MikeC
Dec 3, 2001 7:20 AM
...go to http://www.time.com/time/# and click "Inside the Segway."
re: SegwayDuane Gran
Dec 3, 2001 8:06 AM
I have been reading on some other message boards to guage interest in this, because it obviously affect cyclists who commute to/in cities. Many people make the astute observation that the infrastructure of US cities are designed around the automobile. This isn't news to us, but should this device take off it could be yet another reason for bike lanes. In that way this could be a positive change for us.

One quote from Kamen (the inventor) really jumped out at me. He basically said it was rediculous to use a 4,000 pound vehicle to ferry yourself around town. I agree.

Will this thing change the world? I sort of doubt it, but I really want to try one out. I think it has more applications for use among the disabled.
Not sure about the bike lane aspectkenyee
Dec 3, 2001 9:57 AM
The article said it is not as fast or heavy as bikes, so it's safe on sidewalks. The implication is that it would be too slow to use on a bike lane and may be dangerous to bikers (would you be annoyed if a roller blader used the bike lane and went slowly?)

I'd agree w/ the driving in town thing unless you have to move heavy stuff around. Public transportation works best. Parking in cities is a nightmare...
max range 17mi, max speed 12mikenyee
Dec 3, 2001 10:10 AM
http://news.cnet.com/news/0-1006-200-8048077.html?tag=mn_hd
Not sure about the bike lane aspectjosh_putnam
Dec 3, 2001 11:41 AM
>The article said it is not as fast or heavy as bikes, so it's safe on sidewalks.

Elsewhere I've seen it listed as 80lbs and capable of 12.5mph, which makes it much heavier than bikes and easily fast enough to cause havoc on a sidewalk -- it's certainly enough to cause fatal injuries in a 12.5mph crash.
80lbs??kenyee
Dec 3, 2001 12:58 PM
ok. I take it back. The Time article quoted the guy as saying it's "like hitting another pedestrian" if you crash into them. I guess I should know better than believing a salesman :-)
it's "Segue" idjut (nm)English Teacher
Dec 3, 2001 8:24 AM
df
it's "Segue" idjut (nm)MikeC
Dec 3, 2001 8:46 AM
I think it's actually rather a clever adaptation. First of all, a great proportion of the general population would have no idea how to pronounce "segue;" secondly, the "way" portion of the word implies a method or system. How do you get around? The old way or the Seg-way?
"the old way or the seg-way" nice! (nm)Pack Meat
Dec 3, 2001 9:11 AM
nm
Kamen will make another $500m........STEELYeyed
Dec 3, 2001 9:48 AM
off the marketing phrase you just gave him. Seriously though I don't see this thing being popular in the midwest or any place with harsh winters,it looks like another alternative to a car for city dwelling couch patatoes.
Kamen will make another $500m........kyroadie
Dec 3, 2001 10:03 AM
What are you supposed to do when in rains or snows? You have the same real and perceived problems with this device as you do a bike for commuting. Americans will not give up their cars for this.

The gyro technology is interesting and could have other applications down the road. Robotics, human prosthetic devices...

I wonder how the gyro technology works with the rider is drunk?
Simple solution...GrandMal
Dec 3, 2001 10:41 AM
Just enclose the city in a transparent bubble of mylar to ward off the bad weather! With no autos, you won't have toxic exhaust to breathe! I propose the UrbanUmBrella! As you can see by clicking the link below, SegWayer's can segway in complete comfort rain or shine!

SEE The UrbanUmBrella In Action!!
it's "Segue" idjut (nm)josh_putnam
Dec 3, 2001 11:31 AM
http://www.segway.com/

No doubt it's easier to trademark a made-up name than a common English word, just like "lite" beer.
I don't get itmickey-mac
Dec 3, 2001 10:18 AM
I work in a big downtown area and can't imagine something like this catching on. First, probably 95% of the people who work downtown are commuting from suburbs. These people are going to need cars to get downtown. Probably 80-90% of these people never leave the office during the day, other than going for lunch. Is $3000 a reasonable price to pay to shave a few minutes off your trip to pick up a sandwich? Are the other 10% who need to get around during the day supposed to store the bike in an office or parking area downtown to use once they arrive at the office? Next, if you're supposed to be using these things on the sidewalk, how are you going to be moving at substantially higher than pedestrian speeds if the sidewalks are full of pedestrians? If you've got a group of walkers 5 abreast in front of you doing 4 feet per second, do you honk or yell at them to move? People who need to get around a downtown area seems to be a very limited market. Finally, as the article hints, is this really a positive development if it eliminates more pedestrian trips than automobile trips? I'd be surprised if this thing makes it beyond the business market.
Can you say "cold fusion?"McAndrus
Dec 3, 2001 10:47 AM
This is just about as exciting (maybe) and has just as much potential for rabid media hyperbole. It's next year's yawn.

In my humble opinion, of course ...
I don't get it...Lone Gunman
Dec 3, 2001 10:58 AM
Are we now above walking to any place to the point where I need to pluck down $3 to $6K so I won't have to walk some where?
And just like the "cold fusion" scamJS
Dec 3, 2001 1:08 PM
someones gonna make millons off of some idiot people. Can you beleve those "cold fusion" guys got 20 million dollars from Sony to develop that hoax in France? There's a sucker born every minute.
But will people fall in love with it?guido
Dec 3, 2001 11:48 AM
How do you get your heart rate up riding one of those things? Can they scream down a mountain at 45mph, much less along a flat at 20? How far will they go on a battery charge, 17 miles? When it breaks, how long will you have to do without?

The beauty of bicycles is that they can go just about anywhere a car can, with no gas or electricity, only it takes longer, which most of the time is fine, because the exercise is good. You can carry things door-to-door on a bicycle. Do Segways come with trailers? How do you carry things, on your back? Bicycles are simple and entirely mechanical, so they can be maintained and repaired by the owner. A properly maintained bicycle will outlast a car by 3 to 1 or more, so they're cheaper in the long run, too. With such a wonderful low-tech solution to transportation problems already ubiquitous, why complicate it with computer servos, IC chips and batteries? I can do things on my bike no computer could duplicate.
Did anybody see the South Park reference to the "It"Cartman
Dec 3, 2001 12:17 PM
It was either last weeks or the week before. When I heard the reference to the "It" on the news last night, I wondered if it would have the anal stabilizer!!
Did anybody see the South Park reference to the "It"Bruno
Dec 3, 2001 12:45 PM
I believe you are right, that was the episode with reference about "it". I cannot believe what those guys get away with. Burning a "wooden lower case letter t" in front of Will Smith's house and then scaring him by dressing as "ghosts". Funny but I'm sure many people find it very offensive. Kids must love it though.
dumbest fooking thing I've ever seen...Ahimsa
Dec 3, 2001 4:35 PM
Keerist! Do we need "motorized feet wheels" now? Should we all be morbidly obese riding those power chair geriatric carts they advt. on the idiot box?

WTF?

Here's a new name for it: "Lazy People Dolly" or how 'bout "The Get Fatter"?

Gyro technology? Neat. Bad application? YES!

Bullocks to this "Ginger".

A.
Let's take it a step furthermickey-mac
Dec 3, 2001 5:03 PM
Maybe they can produce a domestic model that we can use for trips from the Barcalounger to the fridge or from the bed to the toilet. Just think about how much more TV we could all watch if we cut our kitchen commute time in half.
Over the edge...Ahimsa
Dec 3, 2001 5:19 PM
Perhaps a mechanical vagina attachment, a beer dispenser and a built in tele/internet/video game machine. Mankind lazily rolls along unencumbered by the thought process and now exercise/human contact free.

Convenience will kill us all.

Cheers!

A.
What's the point!Dutchy
Dec 3, 2001 5:40 PM
I can't really see ANY reason why a person would need one of these. Even if they did
become popular, can you imagine the chaos of these things buzzing through outdoor pedestrian malls.
It's an accident waiting to happen. After the first accident between a Seg-way and a pedestrian
they would be restricted from certain areas just like bikes are now. In Australia you would
have to wear a helmet also. We can't ride bikes on the footpath so there is no reason you would
be able to ride a Seg-way on them either. If people have to ride them on roads wearing helmets
then it will not appeal to the Yuppies that could afford them anyhow. These people already
think cyclists are dorks for wearing helmets.

Are we becoming SO lazy that we can't walk somewhere without having to resort to more
useless gadgets to do it for us?

The bike is a great invention, cheap, reliable, fast (for some), why try and reinvent the wheel.

CHEERS.
Rode itelectric bike guy
Dec 3, 2001 6:55 PM
I rode one several months ago at DEKA in New Hampshire. They are really fun, quick and telepathicly goes where the rider "thinks" it wants to go. The engineering is simple yet very effective. For the bike wanker enthusiast we all can po-po it but for the rest of the world, its very cool. I had a design for an electric bike, it won an award at the interbike show several years ago, Kamen and his snoops were on the eager eye to look at it and I wonder what cross poninated for ideas. The local mailman will be thrilled. The fat person will be mobil. The average Joe going to the store, he will leave the SUV behind. Too bad the liability laws will severly limit the retailers wanting to carry it for fear of the 12 year old who figures out how to make it go 35 mph into a parked car...
NO WAY IN HELLLone Gunman
Dec 3, 2001 8:08 PM
Are people going to start giving up there SUV's for a motorized dolly. I suspect it will take the path of the razor type scooter. It does not have the ability to haul anything other than a person carrying a bag. This ranks right up there with the racing lawnmowers.
Oh, come on!mickey-mac
Dec 3, 2001 8:43 PM
Don't put this thing in the same category as lawnmower racing, which is destined to be the sport of the new millenium. I came home home from the bar early one morning about 6 or 7 years ago to discover the joys of lawnmower racing on ESPN 3. The stock division was cool enough, but the modified division was about the coolest thing I've seen on the tube. The dude that seemed to be the king of the mower racers was out of Illinois. He had a ZZ Top beard and a build that would make John Goodman look like Schwarzenegger. Now that's entertainment.
Its great....Bruno S
Dec 3, 2001 8:27 PM
I can ride it from my house to my car and from my car to my desk. Quite possible I will not have to walk anymore, anywhere!
re: SegwayMe Dot Org
Dec 3, 2001 10:19 PM
I think it could help bicycles. I could see these being a boon for "Multi-Use" pathways. As has been said, it's hard to imagine using a Segway on a crowded sidewalk in New York. At the very least, it will get people thinking about alternatives to automobiles.

They are a little pricey, but I'm sure economies of scale will drop the price over time.
re: SegwayTylerman
Dec 4, 2001 3:51 AM
If this thing is propelled by the amount of lean the operator applies on it (i.e lean forward go forward and so forth) how will it do on an off-camber section? Make a continuous "S" turn? And how would a inter-city dweller carry a breifcase to work or groceries if they are going to the store? Lastly, How would a disabled person use this? Don't they have trouble standing?
got a motor in it, so it'll probably selljacques
Dec 4, 2001 6:35 AM
The Segway is based on a sound marketing principle: it's another gadget that promises the elimination of all human effort. That's what sells power mowers, leaf blowers, lawn vaccuums, etc. etc.

Because no muscle is moved, the Segway could deliver its passenger to his or her destination NOT stinking of sweat. Stinking of sweat seems to be considered by most people in the "civilized" world as a fate worse than death. In spite of what bike advocacy surveys say, dread of sweat is probably the main reason people don't ride bikes to work.

The Segway has a promising future as a sales object. People actually using it is another question altogether . . .
Remember the Commodore 64? What a piece of junk!cyclinseth
Dec 4, 2001 8:12 AM
Who the heck would want one of those things now that I've got my G4 (insert IBM-compatible alternative).

Remember the "Segway". What a piece of junk. Who the hell would want one of those things now that I've got a ______?