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Smoother

Why the original Segway was so expensive

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That is a great post

I had an opportunity to ride a couple of the original segways and they were amazing pieces of technology.... Still are, quite frankly.

I like your last statement, most of all

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15 hours ago, Smoother said:

.....with full redundancy; One board dies, the other takes over and slows device to a stop.

I honestly don't think so. Two boards are necessary for two motors, and if one dies, then the rider lost balance. This will double the chance of failure than single-boarded EUC of the same quality.

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I believe you are referring to the man who bought distribution rights to Segway in England.   Not " the owner of Segway" .  Dean Kamen is still very much alive, as far as I know.  'It's amazing how few facts you check.  

I believe he was riding on a cliff top path, stopped to let some walkers past, and slipped off the cliff.  I don't think anyone riding a balancing device along a cliff top  should be allowed outside, for their own safety.  How he fell, we won't know, but you are implying a fault of the Segway, and that is much less likely that idiot fell off cliff.  As for your photos.  Anyone can troll the internet and find pictures of anyone falling off anything.  What exactly did I do to offend you that you seem so determined to attack this insignificant thread of mine? 

Tiny amounts of current or huge current, which is it.  Failure is failure, low or high current. MY point was every component had a twin ready to take over100%  if the other failed

As for your 12 MOSfets single point of failure theory.  If one fails, ON ONE BOARD. THEN THE OTHER HEALTHY BOARD TAKES CONTROL AND SHUTS DOWN SAFELY.  I have no idea why you don't get this.  But. I'm tired of this. So flame on all you want.

please, next time show people falling off motorcycles, or jet skis or tables.  im sure they will help you make some other un fact checked  points. 

Edited by Smoother

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I still own a Segway and I have to agree they were built like a TANK! You can feel the "fear of being sued" in the build quality (made in USA). All the people that fell off Segway was due to their "user error"... that includes the clown called W.Bush. I fell once doing a sharp turn on 25 degree ramp. Totally user error. I ride EUC and Segway on the same day and the "Trust and Confidence" is totally different on both machines. BTW I ride Ninebot One E+ and the "fear of face plant" is always on the back my mind and that restricts my freedom to some extent. My 2 cents.

Edited by Planetpapi

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Thanks @Planetpapi.  I was going to say that,  but I was getting a bit wound up.  G,W. Bush fell off, I believe, because he tried to get on when it was switched off.  No training. No reading of manual, no watching of DVD.  I haven't fact checked that, that's just what I remember from owning Segways at the time and living in Texas, Howdie.

i think @zlymex thinks I am anti China. I am not. I am anti dangerous product design, you know design that throws a rider off once top speed has been reached.  Design that allows people to disable tilt back. Design that machines sharp cut angles into axles and wonders why they crack there.   You know, things like that.  China used to be hundreds of years ahead of the west in MANY technical things.  

 I don't believe anyone would buy a totally safe EUC that cost twice the price of a comparable unit ( speed, range, hill climb.). If anything I was pointing blame at us, people like me who want the most EUC for the least dosh ( I'm living on a fixed income now, so splurging ain't an option).  When Segway was the only game in town, they could afford to go all out on design, there was no competitor to undercut them.

cheap, yep, fast, yup, safe? That will cost extra.   Eh, no thanks.  China is giving us what the market demands.

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Dear Segway Owners, I am curious, if Segway found a cure for the most common (my perception) reason for mishaps with cheapo Segway compatibles. Reason for asking: I have next to none riding experience on real Segways, but we do own an Airwheel S3 for my gf as I can't sweet talk her on an EUC.

airwheel_s3.jpg

This thing hardly exceeds 15kph - so the following just describes involuntary dismounts (albeit some of them embarrassing) - not terrible accidents.

The reason for those mishaps was a misperception of the rider regarding the function of the steering column. Don't laugh if you didn't try it: In unexpected off-balance situations, it's seductively intuitive to use that column as a "cling-on-to-it-to-keep-your-own-balance" handle rather than respecting it as a pure input device.

Picture this scenario: there is your "uuuh, this isn't as difficult as it looked" newbie happily riding along. Then the inevitable happens and his right wheel drops into that one pothole, he overlooked. Now the platform isn't even anymore but leans some degrees to the right. To avoid falling off to the right, the rider has to adjust his position: bend the left knee, stretch the right leg to keep his body perpendicular to the ground and his center of gravity straight above the platform. The nasty trap: during this adjustment, it feels very natural, to "take that column with you", i.e. now rider and column are perpendicular to the ground, but the steering column is at a significant angle to the left with regards to the platform. The airwheel S3 interprets, that the rider just commands a sharp turn to the left. To the very surprise of the rider, the airwheel accelerates that right wheel in the pothole with all it's might while suddenly slowing down the left wheel on higher ground. The resulting instant tornado athletics with riders clinging on to the handle for dear life may be entertaining to bystanders, most riders weren't quite as amused.

Correct behavior to avoid this: when your platform swings right or left and you want to go straight. allow the steering column to swing freely with the platform and thus stay in the center position. In other words: DON'T cling on to it.

My question: to me, more mature control software could detect that easily and make it much safer and more intuitive for the rider. How does a real Segway behave in such a situation?

Edited by Tilmann

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I'm sorry @Tilmannyou have no answer yet.  My experience with Segway was with the original rigidly fixed control column, with left grip steering twist. On this model you could cling onto the column to steady yourself in left right swings due to uneven surfaces.  I'm not sure if an actual Segway (2)  with tilting control column would act the same way as your Airwheel S3.  Just like cars, these things can look similar on the surface, but can be very different under the sheet metal.

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14 hours ago, Smoother said:

I believe you are referring to the man who bought distribution rights to Segway in England.   Not " the owner of Segway" .  Dean Kamen is still very much alive, as far as I know.  'It's amazing how few facts you check.  

No, I was not referring to Dean Kamen. I referred to Jimi Heselden, the owner of Segway. I'm really surprised you don't know this, which is the fact that so easy to obtain.
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1315518/Segway-tycoon-Jimi-Heselden-dies-cliff-plunge-scooters.html

The multi-millionaire owner of the company that makes Segway motorised scooters has died in a freak accident while riding one of his vehicles.

Jimi Heselden, 62, was found dead in a river after plunging 80 feet over a limestone cliff near his home.

He was riding a rugged country version of the two-wheeled Segway when tragedy struck.

The Segway was found in the river near his body, indicating that he was still riding the scooter when he drove over the cliff.

 

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/8027301/Segway-company-owner-dies-riding-two-wheeled-machine-off-cliff.html

Segway company owner dies riding two-wheeled machine off cliff

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3 hours ago, Smoother said:

I'm sorry @Tilmannyou have no answer yet.  My experience with Segway was with the original rigidly fixed control column, with left grip steering twist. On this model you could cling onto the column to steady yourself in left right swings due to uneven surfaces.  I'm not sure if an actual Segway (2)  with tilting control column would act the same way as your Airwheel S3.  Just like cars, these things can look similar on the surface, but can be very different under the sheet metal.

Thank you @Smoother!! Some 5 or 6 years ago, I was riding a Segway at a dealers exhibition on a perfectly flat parking lot and I remember steering the thing by tilting the entire column. Must have been a 2nd gen Segway then. 

Coming to think about my steering question, I better address that in the xiaomi/ninebot/... "Mini" section. You know, those Segway-type vehicles with the shorter steering column you operate with your knees. With those, it must be almost impossible to avoid an unintended steering input when one of your wheels plunges into a pothole.

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2 minutes ago, Smoother said:

Quote @zlymex. "No, I was not referring to Dean Kamen. I referred to Jimi Heselden, the owner of Segway. I'm really surprised you don't know this, which is the fact that so easy to obtain.
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1315518/Segway-tycoon-Jimi-Heselden-dies-cliff-plunge-"

yes you are correct. I was wrong.  Time for me to eat humble pie.  I must have remembered that story wrongly, and yes, it was east to fact check.  My apologies. Funny how things like this come back to bit you in the butt! 

I don't give negative feedback lightly. Now you admitted that the owner of Segway died riding his own Segway, I give you one because the assumption you made and you did not search for it even I pointed it out.

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12 minutes ago, Keith said:

One other statement I would take (pedantic) issue with is that, like an EUC, I very much doubt a Segway can "slow down and stop" with a problem, if the rider is leaning forward it has to keep driving to maintain balance. What I assume it will do (which does amount to the same thing) is tilt back to force the rider to slow it down until it stops.

The "classic" Segway concept with the tall steering column can slow you down very effectively as long as you are moving forward. The riders ability to lean forward is simply limited by that column in his way. You would have to make an acrobatic effort to bring your center of gravity further forward than the column allows - thus, you have very little choice to ignore tilt back (believe me, I tried :ph34r:). With the "Minis" and Balance Boards, that's a different story.

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It's been over 12 years since I sold my Segways and got out of that world, but I believe,( not looked up recently) that either board was capable of running the machine by itself.  But if that one board failed then law suit city.  Segway did not want a bunch of law suits, that's why everything was doubled.  So once the boards agreed that one was having problems, the other would take over,with the ability to produce full power, ( I believe) and force the rider to slow, stop and get off.  Once the rider was off it would shut down (again, I believe), until the faulty board was replaced or repaired. @Tilmann is correct, that column will really force your centre of gravity back, and even standing on your toes, you can't make it go forward.

 

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7 hours ago, Keith said:

Jim was reversing back out of the way of a dog walker and had a cliff edge close on on side of him.

Out of curiosity: What happens if you ride backwards with the Segway and suddenly hit something, say a stone or a hole, and you loose balance and start falling backwards, and then grab the steering column in an attempt to keep balance (which I would guess would be the reflex action when suddenly loosing balance backwards), but you neither manage to restore balance nor do you fall off?

Could Jimi Heselden's ride over the cliff have been due to something like this? Look at the first one in the video - and there is an almost identical incident at 40 sec:

 

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Sorry, what was the question?  That was just too funny.  Oh yeah, could Jim have pulled the column back and initiated sudden rearward acceleration.  Sure sounds possible.  Unfortunately, we'll never know. But we do know that Segwaying on a cliff top can kill.  Who knew!!

and that's the reason I stopped climbing that seriously steep freeway embankment on my Segway,  I didn't want to end up on a Segway dumb ass blooper, or in hospital, or both.

actually, watching that reel, makes me think that the general public were never ready for self balancing vehicles.  No one can be bothered to do the training.

maybe EUC's will do better, because you actually have to try.

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2 hours ago, Smoother said:

But we do know that Segwaying on a cliff top can kill.  

So can walking, me, I'm scared of heights anyway, it just seems strange that he would be riding there in the first place:ph34r:

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People do dumb things.  Look at any "epic fail " video on YouTube and you ask yourself, over and over, 'what were they thinking ?'. 

Jim was probably over confident.  He was a self made multimillionaire, he was a doer and a risk taker.  He had probably ridden that path many times before.  But he failed to fully consider all the what ifs.  The big one being ' what if something goes wrong when riding a Segway along a cliff top'. Before his death, we could all answer that hypothetically, now we can answer it factually.

jim bought Segway as a business venture I presume, not because he just loved them so much.  As the new owner of an existing company , he was not present at any of the meeting of the original design team, 6,000 miles away and 8'to 10 years previously, in New England, USA,  to listen to all the discussions about the problems they were encountering.  And he was not present as Segways rolled out across the world and user reports of errors and accidents rolled in. His insight into the product was probably ( and yes, I'm presuming here) not as thorough as the original management team.  Maybe if Jim had watched Segway epic fail compilations, he might still be with us.

Three thoughts.

1.  Most of those fails were on the newer Segway (tilting column) for whatever reason.  I noticed that a lot of those accidents looked column tilt related.  I have never tried one of the column tilt models, but I was quite happy with the original rigid column design.  Maybe Segway made a mistake by 'improving it'.

2. From my own experience, and watching some of the videos, I don't for the life of me know why Segway allowed one wheel to spin multiple times faster than the other.  I remember complaining to Segway about this around 2004.  This happens if one wheel hits mud, or any other slippery surface, and the other wheel does not.  There is no real world scenario that requires one wheel to be going, let's say, 1/2 a revolution per second, and the other to be going 5 or more.  In dry, 100% grip conditions, that would be a very sharp circle which would probably result in a face plant. In slippery conditions, if the spinning wheel makes it to good grip and stops spinning wildly, the sudden twisting jerk will throw the rider off.  I know, it happened to me, but I was pushing it hard across a rough building sight to see what it could handle ( no cliffs nearby) .  If only they had programmed something like, oh, let's call it, "limited slip differential" and if the differential rotation didn't stop, I for one would much rather have the wheels slow to a stop and dismount, rather than spin wildly out of control.

3.  I noticed how extreme the angles of forward/backward lean, the Segways allowed some riders, before the motors couldn't cope and puked the idiot, I mean rider, off onto the ground.  It seems that allowing such extreme angles, back to back are a recipe for disaster. I know the wheels have to accelerate fast enough to get back under the riders feet, etc.  I'm just wondering if such extreme acceleration could have been kept in check some how.  Actually, come to think of it, I guess it was kept in check by the unit shutting down after a few stupidity fast acceleration/ braking combos.  Better to be dumped on the ground where you are at zero mph rather than down the road somewhere unknown, at speed.

its a tough call, self balancing machines can't be made safe, once the public get their hands on them.  But that's true for anything I guess.

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For some reason it's funnier to see people fail on a segway than on euc. Maybe things that are harder to ride, as in euc's, are more respected rather than something you stand on then push and pull a pole to move.

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