Segways Tossing Riders Due To Software Glitch

from the adding-to-the-list dept

As if Segway hasn't been having enough problems lately, it turns out that the scooter that was originally pitched as "impossible" to fall off has a bit of a software glitch that can throw people off. It's a pretty bad glitch, since it will cause the device's wheels to suddenly change direction -- which makes it pretty difficult to stay on board. Perhaps they should look into that anti-rollover technology that is being required for automobiles soon. In the meantime, the company has recalled all of its vehicles, which can't be a cheap proposition for a company that's had some trouble making money. If only they could recall all the hype that came with the company, because that seems to have been thrown off the vehicle too.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 14th, 2006 @ 10:41am

    oh well...

    I was hoping to get one some day. Now I guess I'll just save up and buy one for my ex-wife :P

     

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  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 14th, 2006 @ 11:20am

    This is what happens when you have a stupid idea.

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 14th, 2006 @ 11:25am

    Re:

    it's only stupid becuase you didn't come up with it... people are just not that lazy yet and can't afford one. Bring down the price and in a few short years every fat ass will use it to get from the couch to the fridge.

     

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  4.  
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    sean, Sep 14th, 2006 @ 11:31am

    "Bring down the price and in a few short years every fat ass will use it to get from the couch to the fridge."

    That is what they are doing with hoverrounds and for those they do not even need to stand

     

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  5.  
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    Mr. Magoo, Sep 14th, 2006 @ 11:32am

    "...can't be a cheap proposition..."
    They're fixing it with a software upgrade - it's not that bad.

     

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  6.  
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    jsnbase, Sep 14th, 2006 @ 11:32am

    Commercial failure != stupid idea

    There's good tech there, even if the marketing of the thing was unfortunate and the economics would never make sense. On the other hand, hahaha, because people falling off of things is funny.

     

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  7.  
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    Lay Person, Sep 14th, 2006 @ 11:42am

    Gee...

    Gee... for that kind of money you'd think they at least stuck a NIC on the stupid thing to receive updates.

     

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  8.  
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    Ted Goas, Sep 14th, 2006 @ 11:42am

    Agreed: Funny

    What a funny story. Unfortunate for those who need them, but I chuckle at the mental image of someone falling off one while going from the couch to the fridge.

     

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  9.  
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    Dane, Sep 14th, 2006 @ 11:45am

    Anti-Rollover.

    In fact the Segway uses the same technology that is behind the anti-rollover systems in cars. It consists of a gyroscope and an accelerometer and some fancy programming, that apparently, is flawed.

     

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  10.  
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    Sanguine Dream, Sep 14th, 2006 @ 11:47am

    LOL

    I just hope noone gets hurts cuz then segway would lose the little money it has left to a massive lawsuit.

     

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  11.  
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    Pesti, Sep 14th, 2006 @ 12:11pm

    Lawsuit....

    I wouldn't be suprised to find out that "lawsuit" is the very thing that started this recall, reguardless if someone actually got hurt or not...I've rarly seen any company recall a product without having the big "L" as impetus...and as far as someone getting "Seriously Hurt", we already know that
    even a broken fingernail will get a company sued.

     

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  12.  
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    Boris Jacobsen, Sep 14th, 2006 @ 12:24pm

    Re: Tossing Riders Due To Software Glitch

    Perhaps a slight exaggeration, as this only happens in a rare circumstance. I read the headline and hoped it was the Segway equivalent of the Y2K (except with some substance behind it) where SUDDENLY people were being flung this way and that everywhere. That would be fun to add to the code.

     

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  13.  
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    jsnbase, Sep 14th, 2006 @ 12:32pm

    As I perused your post, Pesti....

    I rubbed my chin, and the damn thing came right off. You'll be hearing from my lawyers.

     

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  14.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 14th, 2006 @ 1:02pm

    actually it was a hidden easter egg the programmer burried deep in the progrom. kinda like the BMW 0-100 mph in under 1 second.

    who knew that someone would try a combo...er.....yeah.

    but in all honesty....though, it's a simple fix. to bad it costs so much. seeing how i wouldn't want to put a com port on a segway, that way, if some computer geek tried to hack the software, they couldn't. imagine if someone "tweaked" the software, then sold the device, and the new owner had an accident. bamn. not cool.

    so now they have to call all these back, so they can do a factory install. great.

     

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  15.  
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    Painterskip, Sep 14th, 2006 @ 1:16pm

    How the story changes

    We have a company here that conducts tours using Segways. Emmensly popular. We call them the Segway Parade.

    The owner just left my studio and told me that the deal is that if you go way too fast, apprenetly faster than you're supposed to, the handlebar will begin to come towards the rider and make it difficult to handle. Six incidents from 30k machines over many years. Big deal...

    It a software download to fix....again, not a huge deal...

    I think they're great....

     

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  16.  
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    Rob, Sep 14th, 2006 @ 1:17pm

    I have rendered the Segway obsolete. Look here http://www.psykotropia.net/segway.jpg

     

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  17.  
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    SegmayInotgetone, Sep 14th, 2006 @ 1:33pm

    Hey this is simply revenge by Uranus looking out for Pluto after getting banished from myplanet.com

     

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  18.  
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    Kevin, Sep 14th, 2006 @ 2:08pm

    Instead of...

    Speaking of over hyped products. I was thinking about getting a Segway but I think I am going to save some more money and get a rocket powered jet pack instead.

     

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  19.  
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    nate, Sep 14th, 2006 @ 2:49pm

    segways

    those things are awsome but no one can have them u need to be rich to have one and the normal people only can dream of them

     

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  20.  
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    Galley, Sep 15th, 2006 @ 5:24am

    Not as it seems

    I found this:

    "What Engadget failed to mention was that this recall was initiated not by the CPSC but by Segway, and the circumstances of the "glitch" are specific, and virtually impossible when riding responsibly.

    In essence, the Segway must be at speed limiter (top speed), then the control shaft must be suddenly pulled back, the rider's foot off and then back on the platform, for the segway to reverse torque.

    Again, virtually impossible unless you're doing something silly.

    I think those users who have experienced this were doing things which were, lets say, not recommended."

     

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  21.  
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    segway owner, Sep 15th, 2006 @ 3:11pm

    #20 reply is the only informative one

    With a web site name of "techdirt", I guess I should expect sensationalism, exaggeration and incomplete information. Sadly the original story and most of the response (except #20) also lack accurate information. We've become a society defined by sound bites, entertainews and snappy comebacks.

    #20 covered most of what needed to be said. All I can add is after alot of effort I reproduced the bug described in the recall on my segway yesterday. With this firsthand knowledge, I can confirm that its "virtually impossible" to do. It took me 50 tries before I was sure I'd done it...and yes, I was wearing protective gear just in case.

    Now I'll return you to the stream of snappy comebacks and meaningless comments by people who have no firsthand (or extremely limited) experience.

     

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  22.  
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    Segway owner, Sep 27th, 2006 @ 11:00pm

    I love my Segway but I have had two injuries this summer, resulting in a broken wrist and 12 stitches in my chin. I was not riding irresponsibly either time. I don't ride my Segway anymore because I am afraid of the potential for future "software glitches". I'm not looking for the benefit of a lawsuit...just would like to be able to trust a product I spent a boo coo on!

     

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  23.  
    identicon
    Jane, Jan 17th, 2007 @ 3:21pm

    Re: segways

    I am a journalist working on an article about Segways causing injury. I hope to interview anyone who has been hurt as a result of the Segway -- thanks.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24.  
    identicon
    Randall, Feb 24th, 2007 @ 2:04pm

    Re: Re: segways

    I had a segway accident in 2004. I was in a coma for 2 weeks and wasn't expected to live.I spent 4 months in critical care.
    the right side of my head is now titanium as a result of my injuries and 4 brain operations.
    I will never work or play again due to brain parts missing.
    Tell me who you are writing for.
    rb

     

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  25.  
    identicon
    Randall, Feb 24th, 2007 @ 2:09pm

    Re: Commercial failure != stupid idea

    Real funny!
    I was thrown from my segway spent weeks in a coma and lost half of my head and part of my brain.
    Keep laughing

     

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  26.  
    identicon
    Kevin O'Connor, May 3rd, 2007 @ 12:04pm

    Re: Re: Commercial failure != stupid idea

    I am a personal injury lawyer that concentrates in product liability cases. I have a client that suffered serious and permanent facial fractures due to a defect in the Segway she was riding on a tour. Unfortunately, people are influenced by the media hype about how silly lawsuits are destroying companies. There are a few silly sounding cases out there, but the Segway problem is not one of them. It is amazing what lawyers uncover in corporate memos that show that companies are aware of "glitches" and decide to make a cost benefit analysis that it would be cheaper to pay the injury claims, rather than recall the product. The fact that a product is recalled usually means a serious problem. The CPSC has very limited resources and can only investigate those products that it determines to be an unreasonable risk to consumers. I will try to update if some internal memos surface in my case, but often these companies make anything they turn over confidential. I wonder why? The fact is that most people do not pursue legimate claims due to the negative feeling people have toward lawsuits. This is exactly what the insurance companies are hoping people do.

     

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  27.  
    identicon
    Michael, Sep 10th, 2007 @ 6:26pm

    Re: Re: segways

    I was seriously injured on the newest version of the Segway.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28.  
    identicon
    John A. Pinheiro, Esq., Nov 12th, 2007 @ 5:37pm

    Re: Re: segways

    I am an attorney. I am preparing a lawsuit against Seqway for injuries sustained as a result of the Seqway defect.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29.  
    identicon
    george snebbly, Nov 29th, 2007 @ 4:38pm

    lawyers

    i plan to buy one of these segways and run over all the lawyers i can find. lawyers suck balls.

     

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  30.  
    identicon
    Just Me, Oct 21st, 2008 @ 7:37am

    Segway

    I was permanently disabled several years ago on a Segway that was later recalled by the company and fixed. THEY clearly acknowledged it was defective at the time because they didn't realize yet how many people were getting injured as most were probably minor and never reported. I didn't know anything about the design defects until almost a year after the accident. I was very alarmed when I found out that Segway allowed these machines to continue to be operating out on the street, even though they KNEW of the design defect. It was only after the government stepped in and made a deal with them to recall and fix the defects that they acknowledged and took responsibility for the defect. Does that make you think before you decide that Segway is honorable? Segway is NOW arbitrarily denying that any accidents on those recalled machines were caused by a design defect error, even though they HAD acknowledged it once and had to fix them! Talk about a convenient change of heart. The machine has the potential to be a wonderful piece of equipment, but it was defective at least initially (with their acknowledgement) no matter how anybody tries to spin this fact.

     

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  31.  
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    goldy, Jan 27th, 2010 @ 7:33am

    segways

    don't ride them.

     

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  32.  
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    david daar attorney, Sep 22nd, 2010 @ 8:17am

    Re: Re: segways

    Interested in your subject, I see injuries

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  33.  
    identicon
    david daar attorney, Sep 22nd, 2010 @ 8:21am

    Re: Re: Re: Commercial failure != stupid idea

    interested in thoughts about
    segway, and anyone with knowledge on the subject.

    Enjoyed your comment.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  34.  
    identicon
    david daar attorney, Sep 22nd, 2010 @ 8:28am

    Re: Re: Re: segways

    I am seeing injuries appreciate a call to discuss experiences. One never knows what common interests there might be.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  35.  
    identicon
    david daar attorney, Sep 22nd, 2010 @ 8:33am

    Re: Segway

    Please contact me I am still seeing injuries and am interested in all input we can get.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  36.  
    identicon
    Jan, Jul 15th, 2011 @ 11:50am

    Segway Accident

    I desperate need of someone to contact me about filing a Segway accident lawsuit.

    janree at aol dot com

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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