Archive for May 3rd, 2007

03
May
07

Colin and Heather’s first Segway experience

You may have heard of these.  You may have seen one whiz by at some point.  Maybe you’ve even seen a police officer or mail carrier on one sometime, but how many of you have actually ridden one?  (I’m actually guessing that the Segway experience of my blog’s readership is probably much higher than the national average.)  Well, a guy who lives nearby has one on loan from the company as part of a project he’s involved with at the MIT Sloan School of Management and he was outside today basically giving rides to anyone who was interested.

It takes a few seconds to get used to.  Your normal inclination is to try to prevent the thing from falling over, since it has only two wheels and you essentially stand on the axel (if there were an axel) between them.  However, you don’t need to try to balance it yourself – that’s what all the accelerometers and motors are for.  To just stand there, you just stand there on top of the thing just like you would stand on the ground.  To go forward, you lean forward or push forward on the handlebars.  To go backward, you pull back on the handlebars.  To turn, you push right or left on the handlebars.  It’s very intuitive and it works really well.  Everybody who rode it tonight was amazed at how cool it was and how easy it was to ride after a few seconds of experience.

Anyway, we all know that a picture is worth a thousand words.  If this is true, I wonder how much a video is worth.  In any case, I posted a video of me riding the thing (note that it basically has a turning radius of zero) and a video of Heather learning how to ride it.  They’re neat and if I had a spare $5000 lying around, I’d be tempted.  A guy who lives nearby who will be graduating soon and starting a job with a nice signing bonus stated tonight that he’ll be buying one as soon as he’s done.




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