Monday, August 14, 2006

Lean to steer a segway's new i2 PT (Personal Transporter)

(AP Photo/Segway, Inc.)

Segway has modified and plans to reintroduce its self-balancing scooter with a gadgets that allows riders to start the device with a remote control and steer it simply by leaning in the direction they want to go.
"Some people describe it as very similar to skiing," the company's chief technology officer, Doug Field, said of the new LeanSteer technology that replaces a set of handlebars as the Segway's means of steering.
Segway wanted to make the new version of the scooter more intuitive and fun to ride, a vehicle that "truly becomes an extension of your body, The best interface is no interface at all" according to Field.
The key to the new steering technology, Field said, is at the pivot point between the stem and the base, where a group of sensors "reads your body angle" and communicates the information to the software that controls what direction it travels.
Since its launch in 2001, the Segway is the top of rich geekines gizmo and the sophisticated software engineering that allows a rider to balance effortlessly on two wheels has been praised many a times. But its too high price is one of the reasons I am still on four wheel personal transportation.

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