|Subj:||Recent Fireball on 12-01-01; going NUTSO over Dean Kamen's GINGER/SEGWAY!|
|Date:||12/2/01 9:30:44 AM Pacific Standard Time|
AAAAAAUGH! The IT-GINGER-SEGWAY-DEAN-KAMEN mad rush for news is ON! If
you don't sense the mad rush yet, give yourself a few hours on the
internet. It'll sink in eventually.
Be prepared for the internet to slow to a C-R-A-W-L tomorrow!!!
ABC/Good Morning America and TIME Magazine are rivals. Both will be
revealing Ginger/IT details almost simultaneously on 12/03/01. Hackers
and news-watchers are currently DIGGING as deep as they've ever dug for
magazine covers and secrets about IT/Ginger/Segway. This had better be
the next best invention since sliced bread, for all the W-A-I-T-I-N-G!
This is just a headline as of 12-02-00 11:30AM EST.
DEVELOPING: 'IT' IS REVEALED; 'SEGWAY' A SELF-BALANCING PEOPLE MOVER
....NEVER MIND! Text was pulled, but copied to other sites.
Here's the Drudge SEGWAY text. Copy all this text if it doesn't appear
as one link and force it to be all on one line in your browser:
http://www.ginger-chat.com/ shows photo from WIPO patent WO00075001A1.
Is this Ginger?
For the LATEST Ginger theories, check here:
If you didn't think ginger-chat was updated enough, try here:
Of course after Ginger details are released, we won't be guessing
In case people wonder what's at this site, don't bother:
...see what I mean here: Ironside's Ironworks compared with Signal
Internet Technologies' Segway:
OKAYYYY, ALL RIGHT: you probably wanted me to just give you the deleted
Drudge text, right? OK:
XXXXX DRUDGE REPORT XXXXX SUN DEC 02 2001 10:54:28 ET XXXXX
DEVELOPING: 'IT' REVEALED; 'SEGWAY' SELF-BALANCING PEOPLE MOVER
TIME MAG REVEALS INSIDE DETAILS OF WHAT INVENTION 'IT' IS
Award-winning Journalist John Heilemann Spent Three Months on Story for
TIME 'IT' UNVEILS THIS WEEK UNDER OFFICIAL NAME: SEGWAY
The Segway 'Will Be to the Car What the Car was to the Horse and Buggy,'
Inventor Dean Kamen tells TIME
'The Big Idea is to Put a Human Being into a System Where the Machine
Acts an Extension of your Body'
New York -- Dean Kamen's long-awaited, secret invention, the Segway
"will be to the car what the car was to the horse and buggy," he tells
TIME on the eve of his product's unveiling.
Kamen imagines them everywhere: in parks and at Disneyland, on
battlefields and factory floors, but especially on downtown sidewalks
from Seattle to Shanghai. "Cars are great for going long distances,"
Kamen says, "but it makes no sense at all for people in cities to use a
4,000-lb. piece of metal to haul their 150-lb asses around town."
In the future he envisions, cars will be banished from urban centers to
make room for millions of "empowered pedestrians" - empowered,
naturally, by Kamen's brainchild, reports John Heilemann in next week's
The invention is set to be unveiled Monday morning during ABC's GOOD
The Segway is a self-balancing people mover - powered by batteries and
controlled by tilt-sensors and five solid state gyroscopes - that looks
like a rotary lawnmower. The magic is in the balancing act - no matter
how hard you try, it won't let you fall.
For the past three months, Kamen allowed TIME behind the veil of secrecy
as he and his team grappled with the questions that they will confront -
about everything from safety and pricing to the challenges of launching
a product with the country at war and the economy in recession.
There is no denying that the Segway, previously code-named "IT" and
"Ginger," is an engineering marvel, reports Heilemann, who rode on the
machine many times. Developed at a cost of more than $100 million,
Kamenis vehicle is a complex bundle of hardware and software that mimics
the human bodyis ability to maintain its balance. Not only does it have
no brakes, but also no engine, no throttle, no gearshift, and no
steering wheel. And it can carry the average rider for a full day,
nonstop, on only five cents' worth of electricity.
Kamen explains how the Segway works: "When you walk, youire really in
whatis called a controlled fall. You off-balance yourself, putting one
foot in front of the other and falling onto them over and over again. In
the same way, when you use a Segway, thereis a gyroscope that acts like
your inner ear, a computer that acts like your brain, motors that act
like your muscles, wheels that act like your feet. Suddenly, you feel
like you have on a pair of magic sneakers, and instead of falling
forward, you go sailing across the room."
As Kamen and his team were working on the IBOT wheelchair - a six-wheel
machine that goes up and down curbs, cruises effortlessly through sand
or gravel, and climbs stairs - it dawned on them that they were onto
something bigger. "We realized we could build a device using very
similar technology that could impact how everybody gets around," he
says. The IBOT was also the source of Gingeris mysterious codename.
"Watching the IBOT, we used to say, Look at that light, graceful robot,
dancing up the stairs. so we started referring to it as Fred Upstairs,
after Fred Astaire," Kamen recalls. "After we built Fred, it was only
natural to name its smaller partner Ginger." With Ginger, as with the
IBOT, Kamen explains, "the big idea is to put a human being into a
system where the machine acts an extension of your body."
With the Segway, Kamen plans to change the world by changing how cities
are organized. To Kamenis way of thinking, the problem is the
automobile. "Cities need cars like fish need bicycles," he says.
Segways, he believes, are ideal for downtown transportation. Unlike
cars, they are cheap, clean, efficient, maneuverable. Unlike bicycles,
they are designed specifically to be pedestrian friendly. "A bike is too
slow and light to mix with trucks in the street but too large and fast
to mix with pedestrians on the sidewalk," he argues. "Our machine is
compatible with the sidewalk. If a Segway hits you, itis like being hit
by another pedestrian."
Ordinary consumers wonit be able to buy Segways for at least a year, a
consumer model is expected to go on sale for about $3,000, Heilemann
reports. For now, the first customers will be deep-pocketed institutions
such as the U.S. Postal Service and General Electric, the National Parks
Service and Amazon.com institutions capable of shelling out $8,000
apiece for industrial-strength models.
TIME also takes a hard look at the question of whether this product will
really make it in the consumer market. "The consumer market is always
harder," Intel chairman Andy Grove, who also rode the Segway, told
Heilemann. "But when you think about it, the corporate market is almost
unlimited. If the Postal Service and FedEx deploy this for all their
carriers, the company will be busy for the next five years just keeping
up with that demand."
Date: 12/3/01 9:08:10 PM Pacific Standard Time
Here are some Segway HT/Ginger photos from a link people aren't using much... Since it's a Spanish site. Just from my initial observation: there appear to be flat motor types of devices right up against the inside of each wheel. The reason there's so much bulk underneath the Segway HT is most likely to house the electronics.
Most people are guessing: if you run into a pothole and WHACK the undercarriage, one hopes Dean Kamen would be thoughtful enough to put KEVLAR underneath where you stand... Otherwise whacking the undercarriage too hard will most likely garble the machine's electronics.
It would be a pleasure to contact another inventor or maybe Tom Bearden... Someone more knowledgeable than my tiny attempt at wisdom here.
Another question is: will Dean Kamen/DEKA actually help disabled people and reinvent a 4-wheeled motorized scooter? On normal huge scooters, the brakes eventually start conking out on you, and the repairs are expensive. Having a drive train like this one would be great for motorized disability scooters IF, and ONLY IF, he added HEFTY knobby wheels to support going off-road or through SNOW. Disabled people need to have the best traction in the world in their scooter. Then it wouldn't matter if he charged $3000 for his scooter because that's the going price for a 3 or 4-wheeled disability scooter.
Someone down the line is going to ask crazy and borderline insane questions about this thing, like "HEY can you make one so I can go MUDBOGGIN' with this bad baby?" "How about a version for SKIERS so I NEVER FALL OVER going down the mountain? HMM? HUH?" "How about an amphibious vehicle version in case there's a flood? Just pop out an outboard type of motor and off you go!" and on and on... People seriously had hoped they could fly instead, though, and I can't even begin to wonder what the FAA thinks of that logistical nightmare.
It's hard to get wisdom when the internet slows to a crawl... Even on broadband internet. We'll get there! We'll find an electronics schematic eventually!
More links I'm checking into: