Questions and Answers
A series of questions and answers (both technical and philosophical) started floating in my mind…
What if Dean Kamen (inventor of the Segway and my personal hero) had released a seated Segway instead of a stand-up Segway? Would anybody think of operating this vehicle from a standing position?
Who knows? We’ll never find out.
Should only people with limited mobility be able to enjoy a seated Segway?
Absolutely not. It is way too much fun!
How am I going to interface the Segway’s platform? It must work as if the rider were standing on the scooter. I cannot touch the electronics of the platform. What can I do?
I will find a way to “hack” the operational routine by using mechanical methods only.Mechanics never shut down. I’ll use locks as a design paradigm: They work for ever without fail.
How can you emergency brake on a Segway when seated since you will be using only part of your body weight?
By using a glider on the seat so you can rapidly glide back.
What about bumps? My back hurts!
I have to build it with a suspension. Wow, suspension and glider? What would that look like?
How should I design the parking stand? I want a simple, durable construction, without using metal wire as it will eventually break.
Haha! Trust me, I’m an engineer. (The first prototypes were a disaster! Time, effort and money wasted for one operational parking stand using a metal wire but not as durable as I wanted–and then five more completely useless pieces of garbage. I still had work to do before I reached a parking stand that would be my pride and joy.)
What about Segway emergency shut downs? It’s extremely rare but can happen. What if the rider is paraplegic?
Hmmmmm. Maybe a second, independently functioning parking stand with wheels can help the rider spin the wheels by hand. It will be hard but he/she won’t remain stuck and unable to roll.
How much will all this construction weigh? Segways have a limitation at 117 kg and the lighter the load, the longer it will live.
Aluminium, steel and clever design. Yep, that’ll work.
OK, so what is it exactly that I plan on selling? Modified Segways?
Nope. I will make a kit that can be installed on the Segway by the customer using tools and instructions I will provide. As simple as that!