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Old 08-01-2008, 09:11 AM   #1
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Default Toyota Winglet - "Segway Killer"

Toyota just revealed what some are calling a Segway killer, see link at http://www.reghardware.co.uk/2008/08...shiba_winglet/.

Segway was always afraid that some huge company would steal their thunder and come out with a rival product, but I don't see this being in the same category. With a top speed of only 6 Km/H, range of 5-10 Km and a footprint of 10.4X18 inches, this will be literally seen as a replacement for walking, though the rationale is that it's meant for being used in large crowds (rush hour in Tokyo, anyone?). I do like the fact that one of the models is entirely hands free, though. Thoughts?
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Old 08-01-2008, 09:41 AM   #2
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Default Not A Threat

I agree, I don't see these as a threat to Segway, at least in this form. 3mph may be fine on ultra crowded sidewalks, but how many of us would have bought our units if they only went that slow? With such a short range, and such a long time to reach it, they are going to have one VERY limited market. I wonder what type of batteries they are using, and how they plan to distribute the units? Can you see going to a Toyota dealer and having the usual "school of sharks" (car salesmen) running up to you and then finding out that they have to spend an hour selling you one of these mosquitos and giving up a shot at selling someone a high commission Prius?!?!
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Old 08-01-2008, 10:11 AM   #3
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Default probably not for outdoor use

The wheels are so small that the slightest bump would trip it up.
I'll bet it's target is the indoor market place.
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Old 08-01-2008, 10:31 AM   #4
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Short handles, specualation is that 2 are for sitting due to short handles, frankly its more likely they are for kneeling. The 3 MPH thing makes no sense to me at all, if I was stuck at 3 MPH on my Segway, I would eventually step off and throw it in the nearest lake out of frustration. As you guys mentioned, this could work in China mayeb, but Toyota is a global company. Only thing I can say positive is the silver one is a cool design.

Oh, when I first read the article, I was excited thinking there might be something cooler out for the Segway. Sadly, we can only hope this will drive down the price of the Segway eventually.
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Old 08-01-2008, 11:39 AM   #5
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Take a look at the video: http://www.engadget.com/2008/08/01/t...y-we-dont-know ... the ones without handles are still ridden standing up. It looks kind of neat but with such a slow speed its target market will likely be elderly and disabled in shopping malls and airports. I can maybe see large entities like that buying several and renting them out.
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Old 08-01-2008, 11:57 AM   #6
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They're more like Toy-ota Wingnuts...
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Old 08-01-2008, 12:25 PM   #7
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Default

They did not appear nearly as stable to me, particularly with the smaller wheels and tight turns. I wonder if they have an off road model?
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Old 08-01-2008, 12:28 PM   #8
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there is a kind of suspension ... but I have a little hard to believe that it is for an environment tarred because of bumps and hollows.

Well, okay ... tokyo / kyoto or airports, it passes without problem because the soil is smooth and perfect.

I think the segway already difficult terrain dented (not to mention the automatic slowdowns because of loss of sensors on the segway)
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Old 08-01-2008, 12:49 PM   #9
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I agree this is no competition for Segway, although I could see people having both. For instance, it will probably be much lighter, so haul it in your car and it would work great for an evening at the mall. A Segway works great as well, but for non disabled riders, many malls do not allow them in because of the silly notion that people may speed around and cause trouble. Well at 3 mph you have a solution.

It may also be a good rental for heavily condensed shopping areas as well. I think many would much rather prefer a Segway and this can not get you places like the Segway can, but for certain scenarios it would make a decent device. Only problem I have is some one the models will attract attention to your crotch area! People may get the wrong idea!
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Old 08-01-2008, 02:05 PM   #10
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"Competition" or no, certainly several dozen patent infringements.

Should be "fun" to watch.
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