Segway now available for movers and shakers in the UK

by Guy Kewney | posted on 05 August 2003

The Segway, still selling for a thumpingly profitable $3950, is now being imported in the UK by a car dealer, Planet Moto. But despite stories you may have read, it doesn't hold itself upright with gyros ...

Guy Kewney

<1/> Not George Bush - sorry!

The news that an importer has been found was broken by the BBC, which put ex-journalist, Sir Clive Sinclair, onto one to see if he could do better than George Bush, and stay on it.

According to the BBC's news story, Sinclair believes that he can build a gyro-stabilised device to rival the Segway.

Just for the record, the "gyro" in the Segway is not what holds it up, and if Sir Clive is planning to open his model up to see how they're mounted, he'd better have a microscope. A better bet would be that he'll be late to market with his device ...

Segway controls two wheels. If the person standing on its platform between the wheels starts to lean too far backwards, sensors detect the shift, and the motors in the wheels simply move the device backwards fast enough to get vertically underneath the rider.

Those sensors are nano-gyros. All they do is detect movement - changes in position. They don't "hold the Segway up" as was reported. Put a brick in front of the Segway's wheels, and it will fall over.

Still no sign of a built in GPS navigation system for the Segway, though ...

Order your very own through Chris Grindley's Planet Moto's "Planet Segway" pages!

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