Though it has been adapted to a number of inventive shapes and sizes ranging from three-wheeled patrollers to self-balancing two seaters, the Segway never quite found the commercial success envisaged when the first models appeared way back in 2002. Now the company is bringing a little robotics into the mix to give it a new edge. The Segway Robot builds on the company’s approach to self-balancing urban transport by converting into a robotic helper once you hop off.
Unveiled at CES this week, the Segway Robot was developed in collaboration with Intel and Chinese robotics firm Ninebot. At its base, the vehicle looks a lot like those currently popular “hoverboards” that seem to be catching fire all over the place, with a flat platform for the user’s feet flanked by wheels on either side. This can be ridden around like a handle-free Segway at up to 18 km/h (11 mph) over an 30 km (18 mi) range, powered by a pair of 800 W motors.