Segway x2 and i2
|Models made||i2 SE, x SE, miniPro, robot|
The Segway PT (originally Segway HT short for "human transporter") is a two-wheeled, self-balancing scooter by Segway Inc. Invented by Dean Kamen and brought to market in 2001, PT is an abbreviation for personal transporter, a term now used generally for small electric portable transport devices. HT is an initialism for 'human transporter'.
The Segway PT (referred to at the time as the Segway HT) was developed from the self-balancing iBOT wheelchair which was initially developed at University of Plymouth, in conjunction with BAE Systems and Sumitomo Precision Products. Segway's first patent was filed in 1994 and granted in 1997 followed by others including one submitted in June 1999 and granted in October 2001.
The invention, development, and financing of the Segway was the subject of a book and a leak of information prior to publication of the book and the launch of the product led to excited speculation about the device and its importance. John Doerr speculated that it would be more important than the Internet. South Park devoted an episode to making fun of the hype before the product was released. Steve Jobs was quoted as saying that it was "as big a deal as the PC", (but later retracted that saying that it "sucked", presumably referring to "the design" but commenting about the boutique price, asking "you're sure your market is upscale consumers for transportation?") The device was unveiled 3 December 2001, following months of public speculation, in Bryant Park, New York City, on the ABC News morning program Good Morning America with the first units delivered to customers in early 2002.
The original Segway models were activated for three different speed settings: 6 miles per hour (9.7 km/h), 8 mph (13 km/h) with faster turning and 10 mph (16 km/h). Steering of early versions was controlled using a twist grip that varied the speeds of the two motors. The range of the p-Series was 6–10 mi (9.7–16.1 km) on a fully charged nickel metal hydride (NiMH) battery with a recharge time of 4–6 hours. In September 2003, the Segway PT was recalled, because if users ignored repeated low battery warnings on the PTs, it could ultimately lead them to fall. With a software patch to version 12.0, the PT would automatically slow down and stop in response to detecting low battery power.
In August 2006 Segway discontinued all previous models and introduced the i2 and x2 products which were steered by leaning the handlebars to the right or left, had a maximum speed of 12.5 mph (20.1 km/h) from a pair of 2 horsepower (1.5 kW) Brushless DC electric motor with regenerative braking and a range of up to 15–25 mi (24–40 km), depending on terrain, riding style and state of the batteries. Recharging took 8–10 hours. The i2 and x2 also introduced the wireless InfoKey which could show mileage and a trip odometer, as well as put the Segway into Security mode, which locked the wheels and set off an alarm if it was moved, and could also be used to turn on the PT from up to 15 feet (4.6 m) away.
Versions of the product prior to 2011 included (in order of release):
- Segway i167.
- Segway e167: As i167, with addition of electric kickstand.
- Segway p133: Smaller platform and wheels and less powerful motors than the i and e Series with top speed was 10 miles per hour (16 km/h) in the p-Series.
- Segway i180: With lithium-ion batteries.
- Segway XT: The first Segway HT designed specifically for recreation.
- Segway i2 (2006): The first on-road Segway PT with LeanSteer.
- Segway x2 (2006): The first off-road Segway PT with LeanSteer.
In March 2014, Segway announced third generation designs, including the i2 SE and x2 SE sport, new LeanSteer frame and powerbase designs, with integrated lighting.
Subsidiary of Ninebot
- Segway i2 SE (professional self-balancing scooter for use in warehouses and other locations)
- Segway x2 SE (ruggedised self-balancing scooter for use on most challenging terrain)
- Segway Robot (autonomous robot based on the Segway miniPro)
- Ninebot by Segway E+ (self-balancing scooter for general use)
- Ninebot by Segway miniPro (smaller self-balancing scooter for general use, controlled by a 'knee control bar')
The dynamics of the Segway PT are similar to a classic control problem, the inverted pendulum. It uses brushless DC electric motors in each wheel powered by lithium-ion batteries with balance achieved using tilt sensors, and gyroscopic sensors developed by BAE Systems' Advanced Technology Centre. The wheels are driven forward or backward as needed to return its pitch to upright.
In 2011 the Segway i2 was being marketed to the emergency medical services community. The special police forces trained to protect the public during the 2008 Summer Olympics used the Segway for mobility.
The Segway miniPro is also available to be used as the mobility section of a robot.
Disability Rights Advocates for Technology promoted the use of the Segway PT on sidewalks as an Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) issue. Segway Inc. cannot however market these devices in the US as medical devices (as per agreement with Johnson & Johnson with regard to the iBOT, a self-balancing wheelchair) and they have not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration as a medical device.
The maximum speed of the Segway PT is 12.5 miles per hour (20.1 km/h). The product is capable of covering 24 mi (39 km) on a fully charged lithium-ion battery, depending on terrain, riding style, and the condition of the batteries. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission does not have Segway-specific recommendations but does say that bicycle helmets are adequate for "low-speed, motor-assisted" scooters.
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