TOYOTA Winglet

TOYOTA から Segway っぽい乗り物が評判になっています。当然、特許侵害はしていないと思いますが、日本国内の公道を走る事の出来ない代物に変わりありません。でも、日本の巨大企業だから法律が変わら無いとは言えません。ま、コレはちょっと買被り過ぎですね。

Toyota Winglet personal transporter

Toyota unveils its "personal transport assistance robot''

by the Winglet news (Aug. 5, 2008)
Toyota has already built a global market on the strength of its small, fuel-efficient vehicles. Now, it has gone smaller with the development of what it calls a "personal transport assistance robot'' - a motorized stand-up-and-ride device designed for scooting around malls and airports.

This innovative product, called the Winglet, is quite similar to the Segway unveiled in the US early this century. It uses the same "lean the way you want to go" system of gyros and sensors to control forward and backward movement but has a simple parallel-link mechanism for steering.

Toyota has built three prototypes - ranging from "practical" to "hands-free sporty", using the same mechanism but with different control handles.

The "L" is much the same as a Segway, with a long, tubular stem reaching to waist height incorporating a pair of hand-grips at the top, but the "M" and "S" version have shorter, padded stems intended to be held between the rider's knees (on the "M") or calves (on the "S").

The Segway PT is a two-wheeled, self-balancing electric vehicle invented by Dean Kamen. Segway Inc. of New Hampshire produces it. The name "Segway" is a homophone of "segue" (a smooth transition, literally Italian for "follows"). PT is an initialism for personal transporter while the old acronym HT was an initialism for human transporter.

The small version of the Winglet, which stands just 18 inches tall, is designed to be ridden hands free. The medium version stands nearly 27 inches tall, while the large version (which most closely resembles a Segway) stands 44.5 inches tall.

All Winglets use the same base, which houses an electric motor, two wheels and sensors that help keep the thing balanced. The small Winglet weighs about 10 kilograms, while the medium and large Winglets tip the scale at 13 kilograms.

A full charge on the battery pack should be good for five kilometres of cruising on the small Winglet, and ten on the medium and large Winglets. Recharging the battery takes one hour.

Toyota executive Takeshi Uchiyamada, who scooted on to the stage at Friday's media conference in Tokyo on a Winglet, said there were no plans yet to market the machine and no prices had been set.

Toyota says it will start testing the Winglets later this year at an airport near Nagoya, Japan, and at a seaside resort in its home country. Next year it plans to put the Winglet to use in a crowded urban setting - a shopping complex in Yokohama City, Japan. Toyota unveils its "personal transport assistance robot" the Winglet Toyota Announces Segway Killer: The Winglet Personal Transporter