Rhythm and Vines – and Segway PTs (Event Management)

Rhythm and Vines (often abbreviated as R&V or RnV) has become a rite of passage for young New Zealanders. A massive, three-day extravaganza culminating on New Years Eve/Day, this event has been entertaining Kiwis for almost two decades. And Segway PTs have played productive, supporting roles in event management and public safety on several occasions.

The first RnV was a one-day event beginning on the last day of 2003. The following year Segway New Zealand sent its one-and-only Segway e167* to help out organisers and entertain 5,500 guests. RnV is the kind of event where you never know what you might encounter next – perhaps even a glowing Manta-Seg-Ray somewhere in the night.

Within a few years RnV had grown to a three-day event with twice as many guests. A Segway x2 Turf played a key role at the nearby BW campgrounds, where most guests camped. When it comes to keeping an eye on things, a rider on a Segway PT can cover 9 times the area in a third of the time, making patrolling far more efficient. By 2010 RnV was selling-out with 25,000 guests – and has done ever since.

In December 2020 a Segway x2SE Patroller spent several weeks helping with the build-up. A contractor used the Segway PT to manage the construction of this sprawling event, saying “It saved my life!”

His productivity tripled, and he was able to check in with more subcontractors every hour. He could get from one corner of the vast site to another at sprinting speed, to quickly follow up on requests or attend to urgent matters. Compared to 2004, when a Segway e167** model managed perhaps 10km on NiMH battery packs when rolling across grassy rolling land, the latest x2SE Patroller with Extended Range Lithium battery packs powers across the same terrain for up to 40km between recharges (despite weight about twice the weight of the e167).

Segway PTs are available for hire from Segway NZ (0800 2 SEGWAY or segwaynz@icloud.com). We have every model and configuration available, including Steadicam-ready and custom solutions.

You can register for Rhythm and Vines 2021 here.

  • * the Segway e167 was a very special model intended for productivity roles. It is the only Segway model to feature the e-Stand, where the device self-balances in place when the rider steps off. This was a much-loved feature by many – that disappeared at the end of 2006 when the Gen 1 family of Segway models was discontinued.
  • ** Learn more about the e167 and other early models, evolution and pre-production models here.

Segway Dirt Bike hits NZ

Segway’s Dirt Bike is here!

We’ve got the first Segway X160 electric dirt bike in the Southern Hemisphere. It arrived in October 2020 and we’ve been test-riding it here at Woodhill Forest, Auckland ever since. It is fantastic!

The first Segway Dirt Bike X160 photographed near Woodhill Forest (October 2020)

Even better, we have the first of the bigger, more powerful Segway X260 Dirt Bikes on their way from the factory. They’ll be here in New Zealand before the end of January 2021.

Stock of the X260 is very limited (and the X160 has already sold out). So be quick – get in touch to place your order today.

New Zealand is the first country outside USA to officially offer the Segway Dirt Bike. We’re also stocking spares and accessories from day one.

We’re excited about these brand new Segway electric off-road vehicles.

You’re going to LOVE this Dirt Bike (or Dirt eBike). Experience amazing torque, very fast acceleration, and precise lightweight handling. Learn all about it at Segway’s official website here.

Then call us on 0800 2 SEGWAY for price, availability and delivery date. You can email us segwaynz@icloud.com

Merry Christmas from Segway NZ Personal Transport

Here’s a Christmas decoration we found on the Facebook page of our friends at DIE SEGWAY SCHRAUBER (which translates as The Segway Improvers).

And we found this little Santa on a Segway, that you can buy here from SegTours.com

Over the last decade or so, we’ve found and featured quite a few “Santas on Segways” at this time of year.

They range from the cute to the curious, hilarious to the hideous, kitch to the…..well, why not use the SEARCH function and see how many you can find!

Our next new Segway product is launching in NZ very soon…

New Zealand is about to become the 2nd country in the world to launch a brand new Segway product.

Can you guess what it is?

All we’re going to say today is a very limited number of Kiwis are going to have a LOT of outdoor fun this summer!

What’s that? You want a clue?

Ok….the clue is….this new device is featured in the line-up of great Segway-Ninebot products in the image below….

19 years ago today the Segway “Human Transporter” was revealed to world on US morning television

The Day of the Self-balancing Transporter arrived almost two decades ago this month, when Dean Kamen revealed the Segway Human Transporter on ‘Good Morning America’ on 4 December 2001.

Dean Kamen says live: “It’s sort of like you put on a pair of magic sneakers, and you think to go forward or backwards…”

Watch the video of the live unveiling here on YouTube (the curtain lifts 20 seconds in).

The revolution is taking a little longer than expected….perhaps we can say that the day has only just begun?

About a decade ago, we wrote this article about a tipping point that happened with attitudes towards the Segway Personal Transporter (nee Human Transporter – the name changed in 2006). Champions such as Justin Bieber and Kylie Jenner heralded a turning point that began with the young (revolutions always begin amongst the young). Just a year or two later the overnight success of the “Hoverboard” craze cemented the concept of self-balancing machines with a combination of fun and risk – two “hot buttons” for kids – and giving kids something they could do with ease yet their parents struggled to master. With hindsight, it was genius, really.

Next came the explosion of interest in e-scooters. A first this was driven by “sharing scooters” from Lime and Bird (primarily powered by models manufactured by Segway-Ninebot), and followed soon after by consumer purchases (again, models manufactured by Segway-Ninebot were soon taking the largest market share worldwide).

It is always difficult predicting the future. It is not just what technologies will emerge, but the factors that determine when they will be taken up and adopted. Sometimes, multiple technology mini-revolutions are required before a particular technology can succeed. For example, would e-scooters have been so successful if there hadn’t already been at least some level of cycle lane/cycle path/shared path infrastructure in place in most of the cities across the Western world?

We wrote a series of Segway-centric articles about “Predicting the future” with a Kiwi perspective – check them out here:

Auckland in Fifty Years

Uni-Pod predates UNI-CUB by 33 years

In the future we will drive standing up

And so while it is a fact that self-balancing personal transporters are yet to take over the world, in less than 20 years Segway has transformed from a well-known niche product to a well-known consumer brand.

The brand already spans many personal transportation product types. Primarily, the Segway-Ninebot of today is focused on transportation devices that travel distances between 2km and 20km.

Broadly, Segway-Ninebot currently produces products in the mobility and logistics sectors. More specifically, the foci are on:

(i) SMART MOBILITY with a range of Intelligent Mobility products (including e-scooters, self-balancing personal transporters, mopeds/scooters, and off-road vehicles to launch next year), Mobility Service (Segway Discovery delivering e-scooter ride-sharing and Segway Tours) and Mobility Data (supporting these products and services).

(ii) SMART LOGISTICS with a range of Smart Service Robot Systems (such as the Segway Delivery robots) and Robot Service supported by Robot Data.

These interactions can be visualised in the following diagrams:

Let’s see where the next 20 years takes us!

*****

2020 Santa Parade Powered with PT Productivity

Santa has been riding a slay for a long time. Here in New Zealand, Santa’s Little Helpers have been riding Segway PTs in Santa Parades for almost two decades.

The very first Segway PTs appeared participated as “floats’ in Santa Parades in Auckland, Tauranga and Christchurch at the end of 2003.

Within a few years Segway PTs had become a regular part of the broader Event Management landscape, with organisers using fleets of Segway PTs during ‘build up’ and on ‘show day’ to manage their activities. First Aiders and Security Guards on Segway PTs started appearing in support roles soon after.

Crackerjack have hired six Segway PTs from Segway NZ for this year’s parade

Today’s Auckland 2020 Santa Parade in the CBD is managed by staff from Crackerjack Events riding six Segway Personal Transporters (PTs). These have been hired from Segway New Zealand.

Segway PTs ready to roll for Crackerjack Events (2020)

Crackerjack Events have been using Segway PTs for more than a decade to run this and other large public events.

Our article from 2009 reports how at least half a dozen Santa Parades all around New Zealand being managed with Segway PTs that season. By 2011 a pair of PTs even turned up as a float the parade in small, beautiful South Island town of Geraldine.

Cowboy Santas in the parade in Geraldine (2011)

In 2014, in addition to the four PTs used by Crackerjack staff, a further six appeared as little honey bees buzzing around the giant Buzzy Bee float.

Buzzy Bee with bees-on-PTs at Auckland Santa Parade 2014

According to NZ Herald, heavy rain began to fall just after the 2020 parade began:

Thousands of people have braved the rain for Auckland’s annual Santa Parade. Moments after the parade began in Auckland’s central city streets the skies opened and rain began bucketing down.

While the crowds momentarily thinned most came prepared with umbrellas and raincoats and many packed into the covered areas on Queen St.

Despite the rain the mood was in indeed festive, with wide smiles and plenty of cheers as a diverse array of floats came by.

Santa was of course the winner, but in close second was Peppa Pig, a giant helium float from Canada.

Veteran parade organiser Pam Glaser, who is running her 32nd parade, says this year’s event has drawn media interest from as far afield as China and Germany because it will be “one of the few Christmas parades happening internationally this year”.

ADA requirements for Segway PTs, Wheelchairs, Mobility Aids are a useful benchmark for NZ

The Americans with Disabilities Act ensures that all citizens can access business premises and public places by using their mobility aid of choice.

According to NZ case law, Segway PTs are mobility devices along with most power chairs and mobility scooters, while golf carts are not

Segway Personal Transporters (PTs) are specifically identified as a device that provides exceptional mobility assistance for many individuals in the explanatory document ADA Requirements: Wheelchairs, Mobility Aids and Other PowerDriven Mobility Devices.

According to the ADA:

“People with disabilities have the right to choose whatever mobility device best suits their needs. For example, someone may choose to use a manual wheelchair rather than a power wheelchair because it enables her to maintain her upper body strength. Similarly, someone who is able to stand may choose to use a Segway┬« rather than a manual wheelchair because of the health benefits gained by standing.”

In most US states the Segway PT is classified as a Electric Personal Assistive Mobility Device (EPAMD) when used by anyone – whether disabled or not – while the ADA ensures mobility users have even greater rights nationwide.

A person on a Segway has a similar footprint to a standing person

30km/h for 600 roads in central Auckland from 30 June 2020

The legal speed limit on 600 roads in Auckland will drop from 50 km/h to 30 km/h at the end of June 2020. The new limit will apply to almost all roads in the CBD area, except motorway feeder streets (Nelson, Hobson, Fanshaw) that will drop to 40 km/h. A small number of streets (typically shared spaces) will drop to 10 km/h.

This speed is the same as or similar to the speed attainable on many e-scooters, including the Ninebot by Segway ES2 (25km/h), ES4 (30km/h) and MAX (25-30km/h) KickScooters. Typically, with e-scooters the maximum speed is attainable while the battery packs are 80% charge or higher, then reduces somewhat as the voltage of the battery pack drops.

Self-balancing devices such as Segway PTs have a maximum speed of 20 km/h. Smaller devices like the S-Pro (miniPRO and S-Plus (miniPLUS) have a maximum speed of 15 to 18 km/h.

The speed at which pedal-assist stops on an e-bike varies on the model, and in particular the overseas market where it was designed to be sold in large numbers. In general, the speed in the EU are slower than speeds in USA and many Asian markets.

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