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Fascinating facts about the invention of the
Segway Human Transporter by Dean Kamen in 2001.
SEGWAY HT
After months of hype, rumor, and speculation, the Segway Human Transporter—formerly known by the code names Ginger and IT—has been unveiled. Using a process called dynamic stabilization, the Segway HT works with human equilibrium and responds to movements; lean forward and the HT will accelerate, tilt backward and it will come to a stop. You can also perform full turns, achieve speeds of up to 12.5 miles per hour, and get up to 17 miles out of a single charge. The HT runs on either ni-cad or NiMH batteries; to recharge, simply plug the unit into an AC outlet.

The first HT model weighs 80 pounds and has a 250-pound passenger payload (future versions are expected to support over 300 pounds). It also features an adjustable control shaft, Intelligent Key technology (a private code which starts and locks your HT), an eight-inch-high platform, silica wheels (each with an independent, emission-free engine), and, perhaps most importantly, five gyroscopes and two tilt sensors which work together to ensure balance and safety on varying terrain.

Segway Human Transporter
Ultimately, the Segway HT raises questions on the future of transportation. Is it a viable alternative to urban congestion? Can it be more freeing than a walk in the park? Who knows? While some pundits have already labeled the HT a glorified Razor scooter, many people most certainly can’t wait to get their feet on one.

TO LEARN MORE

RELATED INFORMATION:
Dean Kamen, Inventor Profile  from The Great Idea Finder
Transportation History   from The Great Idea Finder

ON THE BOOKSHELF:
Code Name Ginger: The Story Behind Segway and Dean Kamen's Quest to Invent a New World
by Steve Kempe / Hardcover: 336 pages / Harvard Business School Press (June, 2003)
This is the unforgettable story of "Ginger," officially named the Segway Human Transporter: a self-balancing, electric-powered people mover that Kamen called "magic sneakers." With the pacing and excitement of a suspense novel, Code Name Ginger documents the birth of a marvelous new technology and the feats of its remarkable inventor, his team of engineers, and the financiers who pursued them.

ON THE WEB:

DEKA Research and Development Corporation
DEKA Research & Development Corporation was founded to develop internally generated inventions as well as to provide R&D for major corporate clients.
(URL: www.dekaresearch.com)
FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology)
A decade ago Dean Kamen founded FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), and ever since has remained its driving force.
(URL: www.usfirst.org)
Official Segway Web site
The official Segway Human Transporter (also known as "Ginger" or "IT") web site.
(URL: www.segway.com)

WORDS OF WISDOM:
"I also like to ride Segways. How much fun that is! Anybody think that's fun? I hope so... There's an awful lot of people in the world that sneer at Segways because other people are having fun. There must be something bad about it. But I always tell people, that hey, these Segways are so environmentally conscious. I carry four of them in the trunk of my Hummer." - Steve Woznaik, 2004, Apple PC co-inventor
 

Reference Sources in BOLD Type This page revised August 26, 2005.
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