Maybe Segways Aren't So Safe

from the oops dept

So, last week I was surprised to read a report saying that it was possible to accidentally flip a Segway device, since part of the hype about them was how they were so stable that it was nearly impossible to fall down while using them. Well, here’s some more empirical evidence that that’s not true. A member of Atlanta’s “Ambassador Force” (no, I have no clue what this is) who is testing a bunch of Segways, “toppled” from his Segway and injured his knee. Of course, the article doesn’t indicate if it was the Segway toppling or the guy falling off of it completely.

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Comments on “Maybe Segways Aren't So Safe”

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Russ Little (user link) says:

Segway Safety

The human input interface on this device is stunning for its ease of use.

Does anything ever live up to it hype these days?

While it might be “possible” to flip a Segway, it also sounded like the reviewer quickly learned how to control it safely. Does anyone learn to be comfortable behind the wheel of a car or riding a bicycle in 15 minutes? I know I was not confident with either in an hour as the reviewer states they were with the Segway.

Suggesting the article from Atlanta is empirical evidence of its lack of safety is a bit unfair. You admit yourself the article says nothing about the circumstances of the fall.

I would hesitate to consider it unsafe just because it is “possible” to flip it if you try. Then supporting that claim with a vague article about someone who fell off one is a bit na?ve.

That being said I think the Segway needs far more testing before a safety track record can be examined and conclusions drawn.

I don’t know of any directed transportation that is 100% safe. I think the Segway will have its problems, but I would wait to pass judgment on it just to poke fun at the hype.

Russ Little (user link) says:

other uses for Segway

The Segway could have great potential as robot platform. Self directed or radio controlled. Imagine a self-balancing robotic platform that can carry a 325lb load. I am surprised no one has talked about using it in this way?
With the capabilities I would think it would make an ideal reconnaissance or bomb disposal robot. It is quick, agile and can fit through a standard door way.

With the consumer version being just 3k I would think you could find dozens of good robot uses on this platform.

I smell a grant opportunity.

Duffman says:

Flipping a Segway

I think that someone will always find a way to abuse something – it probably is possible to find a way to topple a Segway, and repeat it as many times as you want. The original claims were probably a bit overstated, but these days, don’t you almost always have to overstate your case to get it noticed? Not that the campaign that preceded the Segway needed any more promotion, but you catch my drift.

rider (user link) says:

Segway safety

Ok, yes – the Segway has 2 HP or so and is only a machine and yes, you can flip it (or a Hummer, if you want to.) They are safer than a motorcycle, that’s for sure!

I have ridden a Segway – they are incredibly cool, unlike any electric or otherwise motorized scooter I’ve ever tried. It really shouldn’t be used on slopes or wet pavement – not for offroading! If I could buy one, I’d use it to get to work every day & save $$$ on gas.

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