I am a former member of the now defunct PNTA. I was on the team from 95-98. If you do remember me, it is probably from early spring when several of my former teammates were promoting organ donation because of my need for a transplant. As you have probably now concluded, I received my heart and lungs, and lived through the operation. Thank you to everyone for your support.
Being a lover of science, and a lover of FIRST, since the first mention of IT I have been researching and theorizing. I have looked forward to being able to see the next revolution in science; for instance, words cannot express how exciting it has been to experience the PC industry’s growth. I was hoping to do the same with IT.
After last night’s leak from Time, the feeling is very anticlimactic. I went to bed disappointed, now thinking about the claims that had been made by several influential individuals (we’ve all heard them), and their validity.
It has come to the point where I must vent my opinions, and the Chief Delphi forum seemed to be the most appropriate place. I apologize if this doesnt belong here.
Data is based on these two sources:
I feel that the GMA article is most likely accurate. The scooter link was the first link I got from Google on a search of electric scooter. I did not search at lengths to find a high performance scooter.
Comparing the Segway vs the Z Rider, we can see that their performance specifications are similar. This seems realisitic considering that the Segway does not have any mentioned innovations in battery or electric motor technology. Despite the Segway weighing 25lbs more at 65lbs, it has a range of 15 miles, 2 more than the Z Rider’s 13. The Z Rider is capable of acheiving faster speeds, 18mph, 150% of the Segway’s 12mph. No substantial differences.
Ergonomically, the Z Rider has a seat, whereas the Segway does not. Both have handlebars required for turning.
There is no mention of a reverse mode on the Z Rider. There are no brakes on the Segway, I have no data on the stopping distances for either. Neither can go up stairs.
The main product differentiation is the Segway’s throttle mechanism which senses how the rider is leaning. It has been advertised as being self balancing because of this feature, however, there is no side to side equalization, just forward and backward. One can assume that rider skill is necessary when taking a turn. The Z Rider does not have a self balancing feature, however, because of its conventional scooter design, the scooter will not fall forward or backwards. It may fall to the sides. A traditional solution to this problem may be a “training wheels” approach.
The Z Rider costs $280 shipped, less than 1/10th of the estimated price of a $3000 Segway.
IT’s innovation and advantage lies entirely in the gyroscope based balancing/throttle system. I fear that this technology will do the same for electric scooters, as the Nintendo Power Glove and Game Pad did for video gaming. If the Segway requires input from the rider’s hands (for turning), it would not impose upon the driver to have throttle input on those same handlebars. I am assuming this is the way the Z Rider works.
I cannot find any reason to buy the Segway over the Z Rider. Not that I would buy either regardless. I look forward to hearing others opinions.
For the past year I’ve been assuring my fellow techheads “Its not a glorified scooter, Dean would make something more important than that. This will be revolutionary”. I’m saddened to find out that its a scooter.
And I’m not even sure about the glorified part…
Thanks for reading,
P.S. Hi Joe.