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Segway Human Transporter

What is a Segway Human Transporter


A young couple rides segways together
Noel Hendrickson/ Taxi/ Getty Images
What was once a mysterious invention created by Dean Kamen that had everyone speculating as to what it was - is now known as the Segway Human Transporter, the first self-balancing, electric-powered transportation machine. The Segway Human Transporter is a personal transport device that uses five gyroscopes and a built-in computer to remain upright.

The Unveiling

It was unveiled to the public on December 3, 2001 in Bryant Park (NYC) on the ABC News morning program Good Morning America.

The first Segway Human Transporter used no brakes and did a nifty 12 mph. The speed and direction (including stopping) were controlled by the rider shifting weight and a manual turning mechanism on one of the handlebars. The initial public demonstrations showed that the Segway could travel smoothly across pavement, gravel, grass, and small obstacles.

Dynamic Stabilization

Dean Kamen's team developed a breakthrough technology the company termed "Dynamic Stabilization," which is the essence of the Segway. Dynamic Stabilization enables Segway self-balancing emulation to work seamlessly with the body's movements. Gyroscopes and tilt sensors in the Segway HT monitor a user's center of gravity about 100 times a second. When a person leans slightly forward, the Segway HT moves forward. When leaning back, the Segway moves back. One battery charge (cost of ten cents) lasts 15 miles and the 65-pound Segway HT can run over your toes without causing you harm.

The United States Postal Service, the National Park Service and the City of Atlanta field tested the invention. The consumer was able to buy the Segway in the year 2003 at the initial cost of $3,000.

Segway produced three distinct initial models: the i-series, the e-series, and the p-series. However, in 2006 Segway discontinued all previous models and announced their second-generation designs; i2 and x2, that also allowed users to steer by leaning the handlebars to the right or left, which matched the leaning forward and backward to accelerate and decelerate.


  • Segway is a Manchester, NH, based business founded by renowned inventor and entrepreneur Dean Kamen to provide a solution to short-distance travel.
  • Segway FAQ Frequently asked questions about the Segway Segway Human Transporter.
  • How a Segway Works
  • Manual for Segway
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