Toyota has unveiled a 'personal transport asistant robot' similar to the Segway
4 August 2008

Toyota has unveiled its answer to the Segway, the Winglet – a ‘personal transport assistant robot.’

The Winglet uses an electric motor to power its two wheels and uses sensors and a gyroscope to stay upright. Like the Segway it is directed by the occupant’s shifting body weight.

A full recharge takes one hour and gives the Winglet a top cruising speed of 4mph and a range of 6 miles. That compares poorly to the Segway, which can manage a top speed of 13mph. Three different versions of the Winglet have been produced, one offers users a set of hand-height handlebars like the Segway, but the other two variants only support users’ legs.

Toyota took over development of the Winglet from Sony, which wound up most of its robotics division last year. It’s already scheduled for production, with sales due to start in 2010, although there is no confirmation as to whether it will be coming to the UK.

As the world’s biggest car manufacturer, Toyota’s decision to enter the ‘personal transporter’ segment will be taken very seriously by rivals. Watch the video below

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5 August 2008

Is it just me, or is this an answer to a question nobody asked? 4 mph is walking speed, and with obesity levels rising all the time, people don't need an even more convenient excuse not to walk!!

5 August 2008

Surely there's an opportunity for some cross-promotional activity here. You could have the Kentucky Fried Winglet, with special wobble-through lanes (extra wide, of course)...winglet dippers...winglet Whoppers - or is that just the riders. Suggestions please.

5 August 2008

Really couldn't agree more with an earlier post, with a top speed of 4 MPH and a range of only 6 miles, surely it would make more sense to, dare I say it, just walk?

When you think of the manfucturing costs, even if this was a 100% recyclable product you'd be better off with a push bike or walking.

Very much a product answering a question that has already successfully been answered by ones feet.

6 August 2008

I'd agree that this winglet doesn't move the game on at all, but if you look at it as a Mark 1; then maybe this is worth serious attention. Remember, the first "cars" weren't any faster than walking. What this shows is miniturisation of a Segway, new ideas being tested, and also don't forget the two companies that have been involved with it's development: Sony and Toyota, hardly failures and in many ways innovators. I could see these being used in Malls and supermarkets very soon. Health and Safety probably wouldn't let them go any faster in doors.



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