Has anyone else noticed that there is an odd lack of Segways running around the Granite State Regional? Only two years ago (my first year at FIRST), the regional was overrun with DEKA employees and other people on Segways–I got to try one after nagging someone for 2-3 hours that just because VIP’s get demos, it doesn’t mean FIRST students can’t use them in between and just let the VIP’s cut the line. I also got to have a really interesting talk with one of the developers of the Segway about what happens when they don’t have a speed limiter.
However, I’ve noticed that there are very few running around this year, only about two. Has the novelty worn off? Did the people who run the regionals say they didn’t want as many of them running around?
And even Dean didn’t have a Segway! I asked him, “Dean, where’s your Segway?!” (increduously, since he usually has one), and he said, “Oh, I left it at the office” with a laugh. It used to be such a “thing” at FIRST competitions but it’s not anymore. What happened?
On a related note, has anyone else seen the new Segways? (the i Series now comes in red, yellow, and midnight blue, and they added two new more useful models, the XT [an all-terrain-ish model with 7-inch-wide tires and big splash guard things] and the GT, basically an i Series with a golf bag holder) They look pretty nice, and they also have a choice of types of battery (NiMH, $4500, or LiIon, $5000 on the i Series). Thoughts?
I was extremely shocked when Dean was without a Seg in Rochester. I would say that it is due to his quick fly in and fly out though.
I was even more shocked by the “Dean” factor: students used to flock to Dean, no one could get near him and his posse. For those of you who attended Finger Lakes at the top entrance of the field house Friday morning everyone was crowded in patiently awaiting the doors to open. When the doors open, the people poured in through the flood gates, trying to be the first ones to the best seats. Not being the fastest person on the block, I noticed Dean standing right next to the main flow of traffic, and grabbed ahold of two of my students - and at the time, they didn’t even realize who they had walked by.
All in all… is the Dean factor wearing off too? Are students lacking the awe struck if Dean, like we are noticing with the Segway?
On a side note from earlier, Dean also spent 45 mins to an hour walking around the pit area on his own. Was he asked for autographs, sure not doubting it one bit. However, I remember ohh, many moons ago maybe 4 years now? at the first Annapolis Regional when Dean could barely make it from the entrance to the judges viewing area in an hour he had so many eager students approach him.