Segway A Fascinating Machine
The Segway is a fascinating machine, invented by an amazing man who, despite starting many successful and innovating companies, will always be remembered as the “Segway Guy”.
Dean Kamen is a colorful character who has made his name as an inventor especially in the medical industry. Some of his most astonishing creations (He’s got 400 patents) are the Prosthetic Arm, the Water Purifier and the Controllable Launcher, or in other words, a “Man Cannon” capable of propelling a man on top of a building or structure in case of emergency.
But before inventing the Segway, his creation was the iBot, a wheelchair with incredible features including being able to climb up and down the stairs. The technology used in the Segway was actually a derivative from the iBot.
The Segway as we know it came out in December 2001 as a mysterious and well-kept secret sensation. All the speculations were going on from a revolutionary computer to a car fitting in a suitcase…
The reality was obviously totally different; the revolutionary electric 2 wheels gyroscope was born, a compact vehicle perfect to scroll downtown, silently, efficiently and effortlessly.
Originally, the steering was activated with a twisted grip (like a motorcycle). Nowadays, you just have to lean the handlebar on the right or left depending on the direction you want to go. Moving forward and stopping remain the same, you just to have to lean your body in the direction you desire to go.
The second generation launched in 2006 and these are the models we use in our tours. The i2 version is more compact and destined in travelling on well paved paths and sidewalks like along the Welland Canal or Port Dalhousie. The off-road X2 version is perfect to tackle more challenging terrains. This is the version we use during our winery tours.
Since its launch, the Segway has inspired many people and we’ve seen an incredible amount of creativity going on. It was even featured as a center piece in the Mall Cop movies a few years ago!
The Segway was probably ahead of its time, but a necessary invention to stimulate electric mobility like we know it today. It remains a great machine, always fun to ride for all ages and attracting a great amount of sympathy among the locals. Come and give it a try and ride a legend!