|Segway LLC, the business founded by inventor and entrepreneur Dean Kamen to transform the way people work and live, today announced the much-anticipated debut of the SegwayTM Human Transporter (HT), the first self-balancing, electric-powered transportation machine. With dimensions no larger than the average adult body and the ability to emulate human balance, the Segway HT uses the same space as a pedestrian, and can go wherever a person can walk. The Segway HT will allow people to go farther, move more quickly, and increase the amount they can carry anywhere they currently walk. |
"The Segway HT is an enhancement to personal mobility that will allow people to make better use of their time," said Dean Kamen, Segway's chairman & CEO and the man with the technological vision behind the human transporter. "Ultimately, the Segway HT can make urban environments more livable by providing a solution to short-distance travel. If the Segway HT is widely adopted, it could help solve major urban problems, such as pollution, congestion and livability."
The company will produce three distinct models: the i-series optimizes range and speed across a variety of terrain; the e-series is designed for business applications where it is necessary to carry cargo - up to 75 pounds in addition to the rider; the p-series will be ideal for densely populated areas, both indoors and out. The Segway HT's footprint is narrower than the average adult's shoulders and its length is no greater than a large shoe. And it's quiet—designed to emit only a barely audible harmonic hum.
Segway HT will first be introduced for commercial use. Initial applications include large scale manufacturing plants and warehousing operations, travel and tourism, public safety, corporate and campus transportation, mail, package and product delivery. Consumer availability is planned for late 2002.
Segway will soon begin evaluation with some of the world's leading corporations and service organizations.
Company Usage Benefit
United States Postal Service Improved work environment; productivity enhancement
Michelin North America, Inc. Easy R&D facility and plant navigation
GE Plastics Improved worker productivity/proximity
National Park Service (NPS) Increased ranger mobility; environmentally friendly
City of Atlanta (Ambassador program) Visitor education and improved navigation
Amazon.com Distribution efficiency and improved logistics
According to Jack Hennessy, retired chairman of Credit Suisse First Boston Private Equity, "Dean is a uniquely talented engineer, passionate about using technology to solve important social problems. Human transportation is one of the biggest challenges facing cities around the world."
The 'Magic' of Segway
Kamen's team developed a breakthrough technology the company has termed "Dynamic Stabilization," which is the essence of the Segway HT. Dynamic Stabilization enables Segway's self-balancing emulation to work seamlessly with the body's movements. Gyroscopes and tilt sensors in the Segway HT monitor a user's center of gravity about 100 times a second. When a person leans slightly forward, the Segway HT moves forward. When leaning back, the Segway HT moves back.
"With over 80 percent of the world's population soon to be living in urban areas, we believe that the Segway HT can, over time, play a vital role in these areas." said Kamen. "In the past, every major advance in powered transportation technology has involved ways of going long distances faster from the horse and buggy to the car to the airplane. The Segway HT, on the other hand, addresses the problem of moving people and products relatively short distances more efficiently… a few miles rather than from town to town using very little energy in the process."
Segway LLC is a Manchester, NH, based business founded by renowned inventor and entrepreneur Dean Kamen to provide a solution to short-distance travel. The company has created the Segway™ Human Transporter (HT), the first self-balancing, electric-powered transporter designed to enhance the productivity of people by increasing the distance they can travel and the amount they can carry. Segway is funded by: Credit Suisse First Boston Private Equity, one of the largest managers of alternative assets in the world, through Credit Suisse First Boston Equity Partners, L.P. and associated funds; Kleiner Perkins Caulfield & Byers, the leading venture capital firm helping entrepreneurs build sustainable technology businesses; and individual investors. For additional information about Segway, please visit our web site at: www.segway.com. Press releases and digital images are available at Segway's press center at: www.segway.com/news.www.segway.com