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Part II: Tomorrow’s Technology > The Personal Transporter: Segway Human Transpo...

Chapter 48. The Personal Transporter: Segway Human Transporter

For a long time, personal transportation has been mostly limited to bicycles, motorcycles, and automobiles. These are highly effective for long-distance commuting and outdoor road use but are often inappropriate for short distances, indoor transportation, or maneuvering in confined or crowded spaces. This is where a new product from a company named Segway comes in. The Segway HT, which stands for Human Transporter, is a self-balancing human transporter (Figure 48-1; Plate 17). The self-balancing feature is one of the reasons the device can easily integrate into these transportation scenarios where the other machines cannot readily go. Driving a car or a motorcycle inside a building is usually out of the question unless you’re filming a movie! Riding a bicycle inside a building can also be problematic, and is most likely prohibited, because of the difficulty in balancing when maneuvering in confined or crowded spaces. The Segway HT uses the self-balancing feature as both a way for users to control the machine with minimal effort and as a way to make maneuvering highly efficient and appropriate for these confined-space scenarios. As an example, the turning radius of these machines is zero. You can turn completely in place, as you can on foot, because the Segway’s two wheels can turn in opposite directions. Try doing that on a bicycle!

Figure 48-1. Segway Human Transporter (Source: Segway LLC).



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