Who Invented the Segway? – Why it was Created

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(Newswire.net — April 22, 2019) — The Segway was once a mysterious invention that was kept under wraps for years before its release into the market in 2001. The Segway that is now known officially as a Segway Human Transporter holds the honor of being the first electric powered self-balancing transportation machine. The innovative device used a built-in computer and a set of five gyroscopes to stay upright. So, who invented the segway?

Who Invented the Segway?

Even by Silicon Valley standards, Dean Kamen is quite a colorful character though he has a pretty familiar story to many other big names in the Valley. Kamen dropped out of college and has since invented a ton of devices. Even as his work in the 90s was mainly with medical devices, he was always intrigued by the future of public transportation. Kamen believed that automobiles had no future in the modern world and thought it wasteful that we have to use a 4000-pound automobile to move one person weighing an average of 150 pounds to a destination one mile away. After he was done with his wheelchair project, he set his sights on developing a new mode of urban transportation.

How Dean Kamen Got Into Transportation

Dean Kamen was inspired to design a transportation machine when he saw a young man struggling to get his wheelchair over the pavement. Kamen believed that the problem was the world was designed for people with two legs and perfect balance, rather than an ineffective wheelchair. He set about trying to solve the problem and made the Independence Mobility System. The IBOT is a self-balancing mobility machine that makes it possible for disabled people to negotiate uneven surfaces and stairs. Once he had the IBOT, he thought that a self-balancing machine for people that could walk had a lot of potential as a transport machine.

The inspiration for the name Segway is just a misspelling of the word segue, which means the smooth transition from one state to another. The Segway thus provides a smooth transition of a person from having limited mobility to having more power to go farther, carry more and move more quickly.

How Segway’s Dynamic Stabilization Works

When you are standing up and lean forward, you will not fall on your face unless you are a child who has not developed proper balance. The brain knows that your center of gravity is off balance through monitoring the position of the fluid in the inner ear. It then triggers a mechanism to tell you to put one leg forward to regain balance.

Segways work on the same principle except that Dean Kamen’s invention has tilt and gyroscopic sensors for the inner ear balancing system, wheels for legs, microprocessors for a brain and a motor for muscles. Just like the brain, the Segway can always tell that you are out of balance when you lean forward and hence it turns the wheels to move forward to regain balance at just the right speed to the tilt.

To Summarize

You should now know that Dean Kamen is who invented the segway. His desire to create better transportation brought the Segway to life. The Segway balances and moves based on your position when riding the Segway. This makes riding Segways a great option when taking a tour of a new city.