Segway ends production

I think it goes down to product definition & value. It tried to compete w bicycles, e-scooters and cars. Much more expensive and bigger (harder to store, lock take into a building) than bicycles. Much more expensive and bigger than e scooters. Not as practical and convenient as a car. Not to mention, no infrastructure for it, do you ride it on the street or sidewalk?
Great product, great engineering but solutions does not meet the users needs.

A solution looking for a problem?

exactly. An amazing product looking for a use without really understanding the user or the market size of the user. How do you store it at home? How do you store it at work? How do you lock it at the grocery store? What happens when it rains? Key questions when trying to replace bike or car.
Unfortunately with high technology/robotic equipment adding more features means increasing the cost & size exponentially possibly putting the product out of the price range.

That is kind of how always felt about it as well. Amazing piece of technology that an inventor was trying to find a solution for.

In the end he was completely right about the last mile form of transportation. That problem was solved by electric scooters I think for the following reasons:

    1. the ride share app tech wasn’t there when Segway launched
  1. e scooters are way cheaper
  2. almost anyone can ride and e scooter vs the learning curve of a Segway
  3. it is easy to look like a dork on a Segway and that is hard to overcome

I think that last one can be overlooked by people who are focused on innovation only.

Side note: Deka/Dean Kamen invented the Segway. The device/tech/name/fabrication was bought from them years ago by Jimi Heselden. He ended up dying from falling off a cliff when riding a Segway.

Funny(?) side story. My wife was just hired at the See Science Center. The See Science Center was started by Dean who still oversees the center to a certain degree. The science center is next door to, in the same building as, Deka.

So yesterday, my wife is in a private meeting with the head of See’s/Deka’s HR. All of a sudden Dean busts into the room, not even noticing my wife and that it’s a private meeting, immediately telling the HR person “Segway is closing. I want you to steal the really smart engineers. Get on it tonight”. The HR person eventually was able to introduce my wife, and this is how she met him.

sounds about right :smiley:

An interesting article why robotics companies are shutting doing (a couple of years old)

And another interesting read about Anki. There’s a big push for AI consumer products. We’ll see where things go.
Anki, consumer robotics maker, shuts down - The Robot Report.

@WSMI that is a wild story!

I also liked how apparently Steve Wozniak had some customized Hummer or equally ostentatious SUV kitted out with internal Segway racks, for his Segway polo matches.

Not surprised it never caught on. But it did spur those balance boards that were popular with the kids for a hot minute 3 years ago. I called then “LoserBoard 2000”.

I would have liked the see the tech move into something more actually useful like mobility devices perhaps.

R

Technology actually is used in mobility devices that DEKA produces under Mobius Mobility dubbed the iBot (no comment on that name). Been around for 20 odd years.

The entering of the mall security sector was the fatal blow to the Segway’s potential. Bad PR move indeed.

Hmmm. never seen that.

I would also love to see the tech in a stroller. Can move forward when you push it, and assist uphill, but stops on a downhill and when forward movement is not engaged. Would be a perfect application. A 2 wheel stroller would also have an awesome turning radius and maneuverability and baby things are always expensive anyhow… Maybe I need to get sketching…

R

Would Gob’s character in Arrested Development have been as good without his segway? I don’t know.

Perfect use for wheelchairs. Strollers might be too heavy & bulky.

Another cool robotic wheelchair

Ya, those are big. But if you can fit it in a balance board it obviously could be smaller.

R

I love that application.

Segway was still alive? Huh…