Wheelies news since 2013

Thursday, 13 February 2014

Rise of the Segways!

Hold on your horses before you start shuddering and dial up 999! This is not T-850 model 101 Terminator from the “Rise of the Machines” teleported from the future to kill you. So what exactly is the two wheel vehicle above? Answer: It’s a Segway and chances are you probably have seen it used in Singapore, either in the airport or in Sentosa.

A Segway is a two wheel, self-balancing vehicle. Introduced in 2001 by Dean Kamen, the 54 kg electric powered vehicle can reached up to 20km/h and travels up to 19km on a full charge. It’s a state of the art vehicle. According to the description in Wikipedia, Segway balances with the help of dual computers that run proprietary software, two tilt sensors, and five gyroscopic sensors. The servo drive motors rotate the wheels forwards or backwards as needed for balance or propulsion. The rider controls forward and backward movement by leaning the Segway relative to the combined centre of mass of the rider and Segway, by holding the control bar closer to or farther from their body. The Segway detects the change in the balance point, and adjusts the speed at which it is balancing the rider accordingly. On older models, steering is controlled by a twist grip on the left handlebar, which simply varies the speeds between the two motors, rotating the Segway PT (a decrease in the speed of the left wheel would turn the Segway PT to the left). Newer models enable the use of tilting the handle bar to steer. 

Some common use of Segways are
  • Guided tours in Disney California
  • Use for patrolling and policing
  • Group Ecotours in Dominican Republic
  • Use in factories for transportation
  • Play Polo. Believe it or not, there is an international Segway championship since 2006
  • Replaces a buggy in the golf course
In Singapore, Segways are use for patrols by the security personnel in the airport. If you want to get your hand and try out the Segway, you may also head out to Sentosa and sign up for a Segway® Fun Ride where you learn to manoeuvre the circuit in a guided environment. For S$118, you may also signed up for Segway® Eco Adventure where it brings you to all 3 beaches in Sentosa. More information can be found in Gogreen Segway® Eco Adventure

  • Small learning curve
  • Low operating cost as it runs of electricity
  • Green and Eco-friendly
  • Good point A to point B transport
  • Large size and heavy makes it not practical for personal use
  • Expensive. An entry level segway costs $6000
  • Not pedestrian friendly as its huge footprint means it cannot go on walkways
  • No peddle power means you have to a big problem after the battery runs out

Segway is available in Singapore too. If you are interested in getting a Segway yourself, you may visit http://www.gogreenholdings.com/ for more information. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

The Wheelies

The Wheelies
Click to visit our store!

The Wheelies Times Editors