, known as "It
" or "Ginger
" and announced officially on December 2, 2001
, is a a two-wheeled platform scooter
of sorts invented by Dean Kamen
. The base is fitted with two tubeless tire
s meant to be used for either indoor or outdoor use. The unit operates by sensing minute balance
shifts by the rider; leaning
forward causes Segway to move forward
, leaning backward
s goes in reverse
, and standing upright stop
s. It is supposed to be damn near impossible
to fall over
The device has some massively redundant components, having two sisterboards that can each control solo should the other fail, and two motors with the same capability. Five gyros all sense balance and control the motors accordingly. The whole affair is tested to hold about 325 lbs, but the chassis can withstand 7 tons of force.
It is designed to take over for cars and public transport for short trips, such as to the grocery store. It doesn't use gas; it is powered by internal batteries, and it can supposedly run for an entire day on a nickel's worth of electricity. While it may sound an appealing alternative for daily routines, the $3000 price tag will most likely keep it out of reach of the average Joe.