Thankfully, there are nerds out there who troll patent news sites, freeing such nerds as myself to troll the sites that summarize them. Sony has patented a Segway without a handle, resulting in a motorized skateboard comparison. I don’t know about you, but the few times I’ve driven by someone on a Segway, I’ve had to try hard to suppress a giggle. Personally, I can’t wait to see people falling off these things as soon as possible. Links and more after the jump.
The concept seems like it would be harder to ride than an actual skateboard with a motor. Maybe it helps if you are a snowman like the guys in the illustration (see noses).
This is from NewScientistTech
The platform has four pressure sensors, one at each corner. When the rider stands upright in the middle of the board, all four sensors return the same reading and both motors are idle. When the rider leans forward slightly the front sensors start both motors running forward at the same speed; leaning to one side makes one wheel run faster to steer round a corner; leaning back runs the contraption backwards.
Learners or sissies can use a modified board with three or four wheels for more stability. Braver folk can use two separate boards – one for each foot, like powered roller skates.
Good luck Sony. We all know how well Segways and and motorized skateboards sell. It should be a hit for sure. Here’s the patent link for Sony’s Vehicle steerable by movement of center of gravity. Hmm… Sounds exactly like a skateboard.