("DEKA: Dean Kamen" 2001, NP) Making many smart business decisions along the way and developing many innovative products, which he rarely fails to patent, have made him a renaissance man for the modern world. To some degree he could be called the Leonardo Davinci of modern science and technology.
The technology of the Segway is dependant upon its ability to balance itself, in much the same way the human body does, using technology that its makers call Dynamic Stabilization. This advance makes the Segway nearly impossible to overturn, while in use, making it extremely safe and practical for use. It also boasts a battery system utilizing lithium ion batteries that hold a charge long enough for an individual to travel up to 24 miles between charges. This advance creates a device that can be used for an entire day or even longer by some people with only very limited downtime for recharging. Carts and battery operated scooters of other kinds have not developed to this level and utilize much more energy carrying the weight of the device than the Segway does. The Segway guidance system is also significantly different than other devices, that use steering wheel or joystick controls. The Segway in comparison is guided by the movement of the body, when the body leans the device a certain direction the Segway responds turning in that manner remaining in balance the entire time. ("The Science of Segway," 2008, NP)
The Segway PT is controlled by an intelligent network of sensors, mechanical assemblies, propulsion, and control systems. The second you step on, five micro-machined gyroscopic sensors and two accelerometers sense the changing terrain and your body position at 100 times per second - faster than the brain can think." ("The Science of Segway," 2008, NP) the description fot the technology of the device is as follows. Segway PTs use a special solid-state angular rate sensor constructed using silicon.
This type of gyroscopic sensor determines an object's rotation using the Coriolis effect on a very small scale. Simply put, the Coriolis effect is the apparent turning of a moving object in relation to another rotating object. For example, an airplane trying to travel in a straight line can appear to turn because the Earth is rotating underneath it. The Segway PT has five gyroscopic sensors, though it only needs three to detect leaning forward or backward (termed "pitch"), leaning to the left or right (termed "roll") and steering to the left or right (termed "yaw"). The extra sensors add redundancy, to make the product more reliable. All of this leaning and steering information, as well as information from additional tilt sensors, is passed on to the brain of the device. The brains and brawn are made up of two identical and redundant sets of microprocessor-based electronic controller circuit boards, batteries and motor windings that operate together and share the load of driving the wheels. The Segway PT has a number of additional onboard microprocessors...("The Science of Segway," 2008, NP)
It is clear that the device is different than anything comparable and is not based on the simplistic designs of transportation devices in the past.
Dean Kamen is an innovation genius, with years of experience conceiving and developing deices that have changed the world, and also make life better for many people. The Segway is no exception as it has broadened the possibilities of human transportation and possibilities. The device does have the unfortunate cost prohibitive factor, as most models sell for between $4,000 and 5, 000, well over the budget of many. Segway has most recently developed a financing system that will likely boost sales, to a degree that prices may become lower and its innovative abilities will also likely make it an alternative to medical scooters and the like which have been paid for by some insurance companies in the past, an option that may become possible for some in the future. (Oswald, May 31, 2006, NP)
DEKA: Dean Kamen, 2001 http://www.dekaresearch.com/aboutDean.html.
Oswald, Ed BetaNews May 31, 2006, http://www.betanews.com/article/Segway_Offers_Financing_to_Push_Sales/1149106883.
Kemper, Steve. Code Name Ginger: The Story Behind Segway and Dean Kamen's Quest to Invent a New World. Framingham MA: Harvard Business School Press, 2003.