I want one, I really want one!
Anyone out there wearing a red suit and driving a twelve reindeer power sled, please take note.
Although aware of their existence, I had not seen any Segways in the wild until a couple of years ago while on holiday in Berlin. We first noticed several of these elegant machines gliding around, near the Brandenburg Gate.
Duck family like; parent Segway tour guide led the way, and duckling Segway tourists followed. It looked so effortless, parent Segway tour guide would stop and duckling Segway tourists would swirl around and gather close to hear what parent Segway tour guide had to say. What a lovely way of seeing the sights I thought. There and then, I vowed to put a Segway glide on to my to-do list. It’s still on my list, but I am working on it.
The person we have to thank for inventing of what we now know as the Segway is one: Dean Kamen, an American entrepreneur and inventor, born in Rockville Centre, New York on April 5th 1951. The name Segway is believed to have been derived from the verb: segue (a Germanic, Anglo-Saxon word). Both words have the same pronunciation.
The Segway PT, to give the machine its full title, (PT meaning Personal Transporter), is a sophisticated machine with a combination of computer, electric motors and gyroscope installed within its base which give the machine its locomotion and stability. The driver controls the machine through a combination of body movements and signals from devices on the handle bars. Segways can shimmy along up to a maximum speed of 20 kph (12 mph).
Between 2001 and 2009 over 50,000 Segway PT’s were manufactured and have found use in the tourism, law enforcement, security, disability and emergency medical service sectors.
I was recently in Dublin’s Phoenix Park, attending a Mad Hatters Tea Party; part of a series of public events organised for 2012 to mark the 350th anniversary of the opening of this wonderful park to the general public. I was pleased to see many Segway PT’s gliding around and was amazed to discover that even rabbits can drive them:
So, now that Segways have come to Ireland, I may get to glide on one after all. Have you had any Segway experiences which you could share? Where did you make your first Segway trip? Did you meet any interesting people in Segway land?
For more information on these fascinating machines check out the following:
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