Are you impressed with 'IT'?

I was very honestly disappointed with ‘IT’. I don’t see it being a great use for the common person. Really are you going to pay somewhere around $3000. I can see it being used by mail carries and industrail use but that is all. I don’t think it will revolutionize the world though. There might be of some great use in Europe though, seeing how it has very narrow roads and the price of fuel is so high. So overall I think the hype was pointless. This is something that anyone who has been to nationals has seen. It is an invention off of the Ibot. Anyway what are your thoughts on ‘IT’

Europe’s a big country…


I think that the Segway is awesome…now instead of asking for a laptop from my grandparents when graduate from high school in 2003 i want a Segway!!! Just think how nice it would be to ride around on in college:D :slight_smile:

For Segway to make it big would require a lot of law and cultural changes. For a start, the device is intended for use on sidewalks where it would now be illegal almost everwhere. That would need to change. If it were made legal, there would have to be better “lane discipline” on sidewalks. With a mix of pedestrians and much faster IT’s, there would be a lot of potential for collisions until, and unless, people learned the concept of “slower traffic keep right” on sidewalks.

Maybe college campuses, as Clark mentioned, would be the first big market. If skate boards and bicycles are allowed to mix with pedestrians as is the case on many campuses, why not 10mph electric machines?

Well, what if we think about things on a larger scale?

Yes, the Segway HT might just seem like it’s a derivative of the iBOT technology, and it might very well be. But, I think that a lot of people might be missing the point of this announcement.

The real importance of what Dean’s developed here isn’t the Segway HT itse;f, but rather the entire world of possibilities that it opens up. While I agree that I can’t see people running out to drop $3000 on one tomorrow, the concept is what’s really amazing here.

Architects, urban planners, and environmental designers have sought, for centuries upon centuries, to develop some sort of plan for the ‘utopian’ city. Derivatives of this concept have been popping up all over the place, and have been for quite a while. There are suburbs of Madrid, Spain erected in the 1920’s that reflect the plans of Gaudi for his own, unique, ‘organic’ utopian community. There was the World of Tomorrow from the 1939-40 New York World’s Fair. Walt Disney World’s Epcot, even. There are planned communities all across the country, including Disney’s own Celebration in central Florida.

These ideas were really only the seeds for the future, and none of them has truly caught on as the next generation of cities. Building a planned community in rural countryside can be moderately successful, but nothing on the scale of a true city has ever been attempted.

The Segway HT makes that possible. In fact, I’d be willing to bet that Dean’s real motive behind all of this was to effect greater change in cities. He’s probably even said as much.

If our culture adopts this technology, there’s no need to have automobiles in our cities - reducing noise, pollution, and freeing up valuable space occupied by infrastructure.

So, my reaction - I think people are missing the point. I think it’s about more than the Segway HT. I think it’s about the possibilities that it opens up for change. It’s the first invention that I can think of that has the potential to really change cities. There’s been nothing in the history of urban development, or transportation, that really comes close.

Of course, if nobody agrees with me, we’ll still be guzzling gas and driving around tanks for another 50 years :frowning:

I agree totally, Michael… The possibilities are now endless, and college campuses are the perfect places to begin… If you really think about it, most campuses are built to be a sort of utopian society, a place where everything integrates perfectly…

As for my thoughts on the actual machine?? Well, it is an interesting concept… The fact that there is no longer a need for exaust fumes is a big plus in my book… As for the speed, well I think that it’s only about 10-15 mph because of limits in technology today… Of course the Segway is an offshoot of the IBOT, and ten to one says that the IBOT only gets about 10-15 mph as well…

In summary, it’s the idea and not the machine that impressed me… Yes, the Segway was a bit of a let down, but that’s probably only because I thought it was gonna be a teleporter… Hehe…

While this does not change a whole lot, I’m betting that Dean has a few versions of the Segway that go a lot faster than 10-15mph. Granted, these probably wont be street…errr sidewalk legal, but they do exist. Dean commented on GMA that his was set for 12mph, but they have faster ones back in the lab. From what I could tell from the segment, it seems that a little card inserted to start the unit controls the max speed.
Just a random comment, but I personally think that once people get comfortable with their Segway, the whole handlebar assembly should be removable at their discression. On the GMA segment, the demonstrators were able to violently shake IT without trouble. If there aren’t any sensors up there, I think that would make IT much more appealing and ‘sleek.’

I’m not sure, but I think the handle bar acutally controls the turning of the segway.

It would have been much cooler if turning were done with the same auto sensing trick, but for some reason it wasn’t done.

I also think the handle bar is nessecary, people just wont be able to let go while moving around, to scary.


I think its great. One problem with mass transit as the US is doing it, is that there is no way to get from a bus/train/transit station to your final destination. Maybe ‘rentable ITs’ could solve that problem. Anyway, as an engineer, I am impressed. The only thing I was disappointed about was that the GINGER rumors kept implying that IT was going to incorporate a unique engine (a Stirling engine?). If I had any money to invest, I would put some in DEKA research.

A lot of people seem to be shortsighted about the segue to the Segway HT. There are a lot of problems that prevent it from being implemented in a mass scale right now–Dean is well aware of these–but those problems will erode within 10-15 years (which is SHORT considering how much this will change our lives.)

Furthermore, Segway will be lighter, cheaper, and more refined when it does take over cities. So don’t offer any short-sighted arguements about weight, speed, range, etc. The cost, size, and weight of the motors, batteries, and circuitry will go down as it always has.

I expect this thing to fold into a light briefcase within 5 years.

Segway will be an instant hit for business and gov’t applications which is where the public will grow comfortable with its presence. Time is a commodity, Dean knows this well–which is why he loves clocks and Einstein–every minute your workers are doing something other than working is an economic loss. A company exec. is worth hundreds of dollars an hour–this thing pays itself off in a couple months I’d bet. It’s fun too.

All naysayers who say they’d prefer walking will always have the option, just like you have the option to take the stairs instead of the elevator.

If you read Dean’s letter to another web forum below and still don’t “get” Segway then I can’t help you.


Now that it is finally the right time to show Project “Ginger” - which we call the Segway™ Human Transporter (HT) - to the world, it also seems appropriate to address (for the first time) the many members of this forum who have been following this project so intently.

I never asked for, nor wanted, all of the attention this project received during the past year. In fact, when all of this began in January, we were hoping that the whole subject of “Ginger,” and DEKA in general, would fall off the radar screen quickly and quietly. For the most part it did, with the exception of forums such as yours. I speak for everyone at DEKA and our new company Segway when I say that we are both flattered and amazed by the enthusiastic, spirited and, for the most part, positive comments you have made throughout the year. You should be commended for your dedication, stamina, and internet research skills.

Moreover, I realize that nothing, not even Segway HT, can live up to someone’s imagination. Although Segway HT is not a teleportation device, a hovercraft, or any of the other fanciful suggestions that have been made, we believe that Segway HT is a technological advance in short distance transportation that can change the world for the better. While, in the near term, people will now have the power to move faster, go farther, and carry more in a fun, environmentally friendly, and economical way, I believe the impact of Segway HT could be far more profound. This new technology fills a wide gap in the current transportation continuum and gives us the power to solve many of the problems, such as urban congestion and pollution, created by rapidly growing megacities.

Although I have always been extremely proud of all of our projects, I am well aware that, as with most inventions, this transformation will take time. The world did not look any different the day after alternating current, the automobile, or the airplane were first invented. Each of these inventions took a substantial amount of time to create the profound and dramatic changes they eventually achieved. So to, while Segway HT will have immediate impacts upon commercial productivity, we realize that it may not achieve its most profound effects so quickly. However, because Segway HT, unlike many of these other technological “discontinuities,” does not require the creation of an entirely new infrastructure, its true potential may be realized far more rapidly.

Given the technologically savvy and perceptive comments that have been posted on this forum and similar forums over the past year, I trust that you will understand, perhaps better than many, the significant potential of our efforts. I encourage you to keep these forums active - even though the “IT” question has been resolved - because intellectual discussions such as those you have engaged in for the past year are all too rare these days. I hope that you would consider devoting your efforts to a wide ranging discussion of how this new technology and other developing technologies can be used to address some of the real issues of our time.

Finally, I would be remiss if I did not mention one of my other great passions - FIRST. I personally challenge each of you to become involved in FIRST. If you were all to apply even a small amount of the enthusiasm and energy to FIRST as you have to these forums, you could truly help to change the world for the better (one student at a time). For more information on how you can get involved, please visit our web site at


Dean Kamen

I think that instead of being impressed with the Segway physically, we need to be more impressed with the thinking behind it. I mean, come on, who had trouble coming up with gyro programs for teh bot last year? I know that our team did and to think that Dean has designed something that uses that technology times 100 is mind-blowing. I don’t think that the general public realizes the thinking and trial and error that goes on with a project like this.