How Does a Segway Work? – Get Around with Ease

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( — August 8, 2019) — The term Segway has become synonymous with the Segway Personal Transporter (PT). It refers to a two-wheeled electric vehicle with self-balancing capabilities. Thanks to its patented dynamic stabilizing technology, the Segway has grown in popularity and redefined personal movement for its consumers. But you may be wondering: how does a Segway work?

How Does a Segway Work?

So, how does a segway work and what are some facts about them? A segway works with your body movement. All you need to do is lean forward or backward to move forward or backward. 

How The Segway PT Works

Moving the Segway PT forward, backward or sideways is quite simple. All you need to do is lean forward or backward to move forward or backward to get around. Turning left or right is achieved by simply tilting the LeanSteer handlebars either to the left or right while standing upright stops the vehicle. This mechanism is often referred to as “dynamic stabilization”. The body-related mechanism is one of the most intuitive in the world and contributes substantially to the fun of driving a Segway.

Dean Kamen described the Segway PT, when he introduced it on the “Good Morning America” show that airs on ABC as the world’s first self-balancing means of transportation for people. When you observe the Segway PT in motion, that’s when you start to understand what Dean means. Unlike your conventional car, the Segway PT has only two wheels, which means it can stand upright by itself.

How Dynamic Stabilization Works

One of the most intriguing features of the Segway PT is its ability to maintain balance independently. This is also the key to its handling. To understand how the system functions, you need to start by looking at the human body.

If you decide to stand and lean so forward, your brain will receive a signal that your body is not in balance because the liquid in your inner ear will have moved. As such, you’ll generally not fall on your face as your feet will move forward. As long as you keep leaning forward, so will the brain initiate your foot to move forward.

The Segway PT works in pretty much the same way as the human body. However, instead of feet, it has wheels; sophisticated balancing sensors instead of the inner ear’s balancing fluid; a microprocessor instead of a brain and a motor instead of muscles. Just like your brain, the Segway will detect when you lean in any direction. Balance is maintained by the vehicle moving the wheels at exactly the right speed. This dynamic stabilization behavior is what enables the Segway PT to maintain balance on two wheels.

The Brain and Muscles

When you go on a segway tour or ride a segway for the first time, you’ll notice that the Segway comprises of a steering system, a drive system, mechanical components and an intelligent network of sensors and technology. Once you stand on the vehicle, two acceleration sensors and five gyroscopic sensors start to analyze your body position and terrain one hundred times per second. 

Bottom Line

So how does a Segway work? in simple terms, the Segway works like an extension of the human body. You can rapidly feel how the slightest steering impulse through a shift in the body steers the vehicle in motion. Driving the Segway is simple and intuitive and you can master how to control the vehicle in the shortest time when you’re going on your next segway tour.