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.

Segway PT and parts/services price update (mid-2020)

These are the latest 2020 Segway PT models manufactured at Segway-Ninebot’s factories in China. They are fitted with the new Extended Range Battery Packs and are now available in New Zealand.

Segway i2 SE, x2 SE and x2 SE Turf (add the optional Golf kit)

Segway i2 SE with Extended Range Battery packs:

  • $13,912.18+GST ($15,995)
  • add Front Bag
  • add pannier Cargo Cases or Bins
  • add InfoKey Accessories
  • add lightweight folding Segway Ramps or tow-bar carrier/power lift
  • add Stainless Steel fasteners upgrade
  • add Enhanced Traction Tyres (EET) on standard i2 SE wheels
  • add MAX Wheels
  • add Golf kit (suitable most courses in drier conditions with optional EET or MAX wheels)
  • reconfigure to Segway i2 SE Patroller (front shields, etc)

Segway x2 SE (ATV wheels) and Extended Range Battery packs:

  • $14,778.26+GST ($16,999)
  • add Front Bag
  • add pannier Cargo Cases or Bins
  • add InfoKey Accessories
  • add lightweight folding Segway Ramps or tow-bar carrier/power lift
  • add Stainless Steel fasteners upgrade
  • reconfigure to Segway x2 SE Patroller (front shields, etc)

Segway x2 SE (Turf wheels) and Extended Range Battery packs:

  • $14,778.26+GST ($16,999)
  • add Front Bag
  • add pannier Cargo Cases or Bins
  • add InfoKey Accessories
  • add lightweight folding Segway Ramps or tow-bar carrier/power lift
  • add Golf kit (suitable for all courses and conditions in New Zealand)
  • add Stainless Steel fasteners upgrade
  • reconfigure to Segway x2 SE Turf Patroller (front shields, etc)

Segway Extended Range Battery packs:

Compared with the original Valance Saphion chemistry packs (2006-2019), Segway’s latest Ternary chemistry packs offer between 30% and 50% more range-per-charge.

  • Extended Range Battery pack: $3,000+GST ($3,450)

Fixed LeanSteer with Twist Grip for turning (NZ designed and built)

First generation Segway PTs featured a rigid handlebar that some users preferred, and a “twist grip” on the left hand grip for turning. Twist anti-clockwise to turn left, or clockwise to turn right. Our Fixed LeanSteer can have the Twist Grip on either the left side or right side.

The Fixed LeanSteer is preferred by some mobility users who benefit from additional lateral support, and some farmers who use PTs on rolling terrain.

  • Fixed LeanSteer with Twist Grip: $4,000+GST ($4,600)

Segway Battery Testing and Recovery Service

Segway New Zealand has sofisticated testing and recovery equipment to analyse battery packs that give a red LED when plugged in for charging. The red LED may indicate an over-discharged pack, ageing cells, cells that are getting too warm, end-of-life, etc.

Our equipment “looks into” each pack to assess the voltages of the 24 groups of 4 cells, and the temperature in 4 areas (revealing cells that have developed higher resistance). Another device plots a discharge capacity graph and temperature readout, from which current performance and likely future lifespan can be assessed. We also have three different battery pack ‘Revivers’ that an, in some cases, safely ‘reanimate’ a sleeping battery pack. Finally, our fast charger can recharge a pack in less than half the time it takes to do so on a PT.

Segway Valance Battery services: varies by service performed

All products are in stock from 1 July 2020 onwards, except Fixed LeanSteer from 1 August 2020

In stock: new Enhanced Traction Tyre for Segway i2 SE

The standard tyre for the Segway i2 SE is a non-marking marvel of tyre technology. It offers great grip outdoors, yet the clever tread patten tracks very little mud indoors. This lightweight ‘Extended Range’ tyre has been carefully engineered to be the perfect balance between comfort and compliance over a wide variety of surfaces. In fact, Segway’s tests proved that on slippery surfaces the i2 SE tyre has 30% more grip compared with the first-generation Segway HT tyre.

This is our new Enhanced Traction Tyre (it is also a ‘snow tyre’)

If you ride almost exclusively outdoors then you may encounter environments where more grip would be desirable. For example, slippery autumn leaves or greasy winter conditions such as frost and snow, or when you regularly encounter wet and muddy areas along outdoor routes that you want to be able cross safely at higher speed.

Another environment where extra grip is useful is the golf course. While most golfers are best served by the x2 SE Turf model that features large, balloon tyres for all-weather fairway gliding, the i2 SE fitted with a golf bag carrier can glide effortlessly across well-drained courses. But if the weather is wetter or frostier then more grip is necessary.

Our new Enhanced Traction Tyre (left) and previous Urban Master tyre (right)

In the past Segway New Zealand has offered the IRC ‘Urban Master’ snow tyre as the traction upgrade option for i2SE owners. We’ve always liked the IRC tyre, but covid-conditions have made them impossible to source and bring to New Zealand. So we’ve found a great alternative. Our new Enhanced Traction Tyre option is also a snow tyre, and is already in widespread use by Segway Tour operators across Australia (where there isn’t any snow). You’ll really notice the extra grip when transversing grass and mounting or dismounting curbs. The tread pattern is very similar to the custom pattern specially developed by PT-Pro in Germany for use by tour operators and Segway Polo players in Europe.

Our Enhanced Traction tyres are available now for $195+GST each.

These tyres have a directional pattern, so mount them on the rims as matching pairs. This is so they look “correct” – even though in practice functionality won’t be affected if mounted in reverse. This is because the Segway PT is a low-speed machine, and the directional tread orientation really isn’t that critical at low speeds (in fact, we did our own experiments with reversed tread suggesting this orientation provides noticeably improved traction on soft sand).

US production of PT to end

Segway, Inc. have announced that US production of the Segway Personal Transporter (PT) will come to an end on 15 July 2020.

Segway PTs destined for the US and EU markets have been manufactured at Segway HQ in Bedford, New Hampshire since 2002. Segway, Inc. will continue to run much of their US operations out the facility, even though the PT production line is closing down. Segway has a massive e-scooter business in USA, and also sells smaller self-balancing transporters, robots, dirt bikes, go karts and e-skates. These products are manufactured in China by parent company Segway-Ninebot.

Segway’s factory in Bedford, New Hampshire where the PT was produced 2002-2020

Approximately 140,000 units of Segway PT have been produced since 2002. Production of the three-wheeled SE-3 Patroller used by public safety/police, and the PT-based Segway Robotics RMP range will also come to an end.

The Bedford facility will continue to provide parts and service for the significant, active installed base of Segway PTs in USA, and worldwide. Parts and service in EU will continue to be provided by Segway’s service centre in Munich, Germany.

As part of the Asia-Pacific region, Segway New Zealand has been sourcing Segway PTs manufactured on Segway-Ninebot’s production line in China since 2018, and will continue to do so. This production line was originally located at Ninebot’s Tianjin factory (in the north), and was moved to Changzhou earlier this year (in the south). Segway New Zealand’s first consignment of PTs from Changzhou arrives into New Zealand on 10 July 2020, with models fitted with the latest Long Range Battery Packs.

In New Zealand, the safe, stable self-balancing Segway PT is relied upon by many hundreds of mobility users, adopted in a wide variety of productivity roles, embraced by technology enthusiasts, and enjoyed by tourists who take Segway Tours at seven popular locations around New Zealand.

Segway IPO – Stockmarket listing to launch on STAR

According to Reuters, “Segway is blazing a trail…” to list on the sharemarket.

The company intends to raise $300 million (USD) in an Initial Public Offering (IPO) on the relatively new STAR board of the Shanghai Stock Exchange. The STAR board is a tech-focused board, similar to the tech-focused NASDQ board on the New York Stock Exchange.

According to Caixing approval was granted on 12 June, in a deal that demonstrates how far Chinese authorities have come in liberalising listing criteria in the interests of driving growth and increasing the attractiveness of the STAR board with investors internationally.

Segway came close to an IPO more than a decade ago, but plans were derailed by the Global Financial Crisis (2007-8).

SPECIAL prices during Alert Level 3 – buy direct from Segway New Zealand

Hot new prices plus special Family Bundles of fun…

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  • Ninebot by Segway ES2 is IN STOCKCALL* for our latest hot price

This is easily New Zealand’s most popular and best-selling fully featured 300W e-scooter. Get yours today while stocks last, and receive a free mobile phone holder with your purchase.

  • Ninebot by Segway ES4 is IN STOCK CALL* for our latest hot price

Twice the range and 5km/h more speed than the ES2. But stock of ES4 stock is very limited so get yours while you can, and receive a free mobile phone holder with your purchase.

* our phone number is 0800 2 SEGWAY or you can email segwaynz@icloud.com

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  • Segway Drift W1 e-skates is IN STOCK – $345.00

Sensational Drift e-skates are revolutionary. What tricks can you learn to do?

  • Segway miniLITE personal transport device is IN STOCK$460.00

Segway’s ‘hoverboard killer’ is safer, faster, more durable and more fun!

  • Segway S-Plus personal transporter: IN STOCK – $1,095.00

 This Segway S-Plus is an ex-display unit that has travelled just 30km, and you save $300.

 

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FAMILY BUNDLE #1 is IN STOCK $745

  • Get one Segway miniLITE and one pair of Segway Drifts at this very special price

FAMILY BUNDLE #2 is IN STOCK – $1,445

  • Get one KickScooter ES2, one Segway miniLITE and one pair of Segway Drifts

*****

Segway-Ninebot SERVICE, PARTS and WARRANTY during Alert Level 3

During Alert Level 3 Segway New Zealand will be providing contactless service, shipping out replacement parts, and repairs under warranty for all Segway-Ninebot products.

For all out-of-warranty parts and service please contact Segway New Zealand directly.

For in-warranty service please contact your retailer, who will arrange to have your device serviced with us or our authorised agents. If you purchased your device from Segway New Zealand then contact us directly.

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SEGWAY PERSONAL TRANSPORTERS (2020 models with Extended Range batteries)

Now is a great time to buy the latest Segway Personal Transporter (PT). We have the latest i2 SE, x2 SE (ATV or Turf tyres) and x2 SE Golf models in stock – all available with the newly released 2020 Extended Range battery packs (Tenary chemistry) or with Standard Range battery packs (Valance Saphion chemistry).

We also have several pre-owned Segway PTs to choose from (i2, x2 and x2 Golf configurations), available with up to 12 months warranty.

We have Segway Robotics Loomo in stock.

In-warranty and out-of-warranty parts and service are available for all Segway PT models during Level 3. Our RST service is off-line until ~5 May 2020.

Segway New Zealand carries a full range of replacement parts and accessories for all Personal Transporter models manufactured between 2007-present. We have essential new/used parts for first-generation HT/XT/GT models manufactured 2002-2006, including battery packs.

NZ’s ‘food deliveries on Segway PTs’ pioneers include Sal’s Pizza and others

In this article we detail the New Zealand example of how Sal’s Pizza discovered just how useful the Segway PT is for urban food deliveries, as restaurants announce plans to use e-scooters to deliver meals when the country moves to Alert Level 3.

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Restaurants and cafes throughout the country are poised to begin selling and delivering food from Tuesday 28 April 2020, when New Zealand moves from Covid-19 Alert Level 4 to Alert Level 3.

Deliveries must be contact-less, meaning the customer must order and pay in advance, then arrange to pick up or have the food dropped off without coming within 2m of another person. Because retail shop doors need to remain closed to the public, neither in-person ordering before taking away, nor in-store sit-down dining is permitted until Alert Level 2.

There have been news reports earlier this week about a backlash against delivery incumbent Uber Eats. Restaurants and cafes are complaining about Uber’s 30% to 35% cut of the gross sale – and Uber’s refusal to consider dropping their margin during these corona-days.

Unsurprisingly, entrepreneurial-minded Kiwi businesses have been masterminding alternatives.

These include a group of 15 restaurants in Wellington banding together to cooperate around arranging their own deliveries. Kiwi sharing scooter pioneers Flamingo have announced a delivery service using Segway e-scooters. Flamingo have already hired 100 riders, and are interviewing 500 more. This will be the first time since the beginning of Alert Level 4 that ride sharing scooters have been seen on the streets. Operators including Lime, Wave, Beam, Neuron – and Jump by Uber – have had to temporarily shut down for the past month.

Before you read on, here’s a specially curated list of The Great New Zealand Restaurants that have pivoted to providing takeaways from Tuesday, according to The Spinoff. Meanwhile, an Auckland-centric list has been published by Stuff.

According to an article in Stuff at least some of Auckland’s restaurants in the list above will be e-delivering using Flamingo’s e-scooters (presumably along with many other):

Auckland-based chef and restaurateur Sid Sahrawat said he and his wife and business partner Chand had been creating takeaway menus for their three restaurants, Sidart, Cassia and Sid at The French Cafe.

Modern Indian restaurant Cassia would offer 10-12 of its signature dishes, such as tandoori chicken with bhuna spices, while The French Cafe would offer five classic dishes like coq au vin and duck l’orange. Fine-dining restaurant Sidart, which was named Restaurant of the Year in the 2019 Cuisine Good Food Awards, would also have five options.

Sahrawat  said front of house staff would be redeployed as delivery staff, using Flamingo scooters to do short distance deliveries. Some customers could even expect a delivery from the award-winning chef himself.

“Both Chand and I might be delivering to some of our guests in our cars for those guests that are slightly further away.”

 

This has all happened before.

Just swap ‘Covid-19’ for ‘the GFC’ and ‘e-scooters’ for ‘Segway Personal Transporters’ and take a journey back to a time when crises wasn’t as serious, and the delivery solution du jour was actually better.

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Two Segway PTs used for delivering pizza outside Sal’s first store in Commerce Street, Auckland.

Sal’s Pizza began delivering hot pizza on Segway PTs out of their very first store in 2009. They open up shop in Commerce Street in Auckland’s CBD during the middle of the Global Financial Crisis. Launching in August, they began a door-to-door service using a pair of Segway PTs during that winter of our discontent. They proved that even the depths of a recession can be a great time to start a business if you’ve got:

  • a great idea – New Zealand had never had an authentic New York-style pizza joint before
  • a point of difference – Segway PTs!

The use of Segway PTs really put Sal’s Pizza on the fast-food map of downtown Auckland. Corporate customers were delighted at the super-quick delivery times, and customers were intrigued to get what was often their first-ever close-up look at a self-balancing device. One of the often underestimated yet really big benefits of the Segway PT is revealed when doing deliveries: ride the Segway PT in through the front door of the tower block, straight into the lift (elevator) and up to an office’s front desk or apartment door without dismounting. Then turn on the spot, retrace your path, and on to do the next delivery without delay.

Sal’s quickly expanded to two stores – downtown and K’Rd – and four Segway PTs. Soon, the K’Rd store required three PTs to address its broader coverage and extended inner-suburban reach. And just how cool the futuristic the zero-emission Segway PT looked as it zoomed around 100 year old neighbourhoods delivering a unique taste of New York to Auckland city-dwellers. And remember – absolutely nowhere else in the Southern Hemisphere was food delivery by Segway PT happening. Not in any country in South America, not in a single city in Australia, not in any town in South Africa (nor any village elsewhere on that continent). This was New Zealand pioneering the way again.

Sal’s Pizza soon opened a joint midway up Queen Street, one in Takapuna, then Parnell. It wasn’t long before half a dozen Segway PTs (and an early e-bike) were clocking up tens of thousands of kilometres delivering pizza to hungry Auckland mouths. Our Sal’s pizza-eating competition story notes seven stores opened by early 2014, including one in Hamilton. Since then, this business has kept growning with a mix of boot-strapping and franchising. Today, there are at 33 Sal’s Pizza stores nationwide.

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Tummies at the ready for Sal’s first annual Pizza Eating Competition

Successful businesses attract competition, and it wasn’t long before the first California Burrito outlet opened up right next door to the original Sal’s, got themselves a couple of Segway PTs to do deliveries, then opened more stores (including right next to Sal’s mid-Queen Street joint). This was just about the same time as the first copy-cat manufacturers of Segway PTs started arriving on our shores, but of course every single such contraption was just a dangerous, non-redundant pile of rubbish. Nobody ever dared try delivering anything on them (nor doing actual real work of any kind), and anyone who wasted their money buying them quickly (re)learned a certain age-old lesson.

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Elsewhere on Auckland’s streets the Segway PT had become well-recognised and highly regarded via the spectacularly successful Heart of the City ‘street ambassadors’ who rode around the CBD assisting tourists while clocking up 6,000 incident-free kilometres in just 18 months.

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Cornwall Park followed suite from 2010, extending response capability by adding a Segway Patroller to provide a helping hand to summer visitors.

Alas, one day an over-zealous police officer spoilt all the fun. Despite the fact that the matter of whether or not a Segway PT was a ‘mobility device’ as defined under the Land Transport Act was on appeal before the courts, Sal’s bowed to good grace and a desire to avoid a damaging bash-up in the sensationalist news media, so temporarily retired their delivery fleet. Eventually the courts determined a Segway PT was indeed a ‘mobility device’ and thus permitted to be used on footpaths (and roads) – including for food deliveries and patrols. Looking back at this from 2020, it all seems so quaint – with e-scooters everywhere and the rules around personal transportation devices poised to be modernised. Think about it like this: the actual devices – bikes, e-bikes, e-scooters, self-balancing transporters, skateboards, etc – have not changed in physical size or weight or performance compared with 20 years ago (and nor have the rider rules). But people’s attitudes towards them have. Sure, battery packs are better and components are less expensive, but the dimensions, weights and speeds of these various devices remain unchanged. At last, the rules are set to be modernised. The future has arrived and pretty much everyone across the entire world agrees that personal electric transportation devices rightly belong on both footpaths (at restricted speeds) and on the roads, cycle lanes, cycles paths and shared paths. It has just taken many nations and states a little while to catch up with the temper of the times. And sure, there are some odd-man-out exceptions (for example, compare the sensible “rideable” rules in Queensland with absurdly restrictive New South Wales, or pretty-much-every-state-in-USA Segway/e-scooter/ECU rules with 1800-era UK rules).

Today, the Sal’s Pizza and California Burrito experiments stand as proof of the utility and efficiency of the Segway PT for urban food deliveries. Here’s what we learned:

SAFETY: Dozens of PTs ridden for tens of thousands of kilometres – and not one single reported incident – such as a collision with a person or an accident involving another vehicle. Not by a pizza delivery rider or a street ambassador or anyone else. Not one.

EFFICIENCY: The Segway PT proved ideal for making deliveries faster and more cost-efficient in most – but not all – environments. Lets look into what Sal’s Pizza learned in this regard in some more detail.

Initially, deliveries out of Commerce Street were a spectacular success. But at Queen Street they was unnecessary due to the nature of the customer and the catchment area. At K’Rd, Parnell and Takapuna the Segway PTs endured as an ideal delivery vehicle.

Ironically, a couple of years after launching at Commerce Street the environment altered and the Segway PT was no longer such a good fit. In fact no other vehicle worked out either – not a bike nor a scooter nor a car. What had happened was the pedestrian density tripled and progressed by any means was severely hampered, while traffic on the surrounding  streets became gridlocked. Much had changed since the business had opened its doors on Commerce Street. Firstly, the Britomart train station and bus hub had opened, tripling the amount of foot traffic that spilled onto the footpaths. Roadworks had removed car parks, added temporary bus stops, and generally turned the streets into a slow moving nightmare. The purpose of the road works? To add bus lanes, cycle lanes and convert surrounding streets into Shared Spaces for pedestrians, cycles, cars, etc.

Timely pizza delivery by Segway PT (or e-bike, bicycle, scooter or car) had become impossible, and what deliveries were offered were now being completed the old fashioned way – on foot. The delivery radius had to be scaled back to walking range. That said, the impact of this limitation on Sal’s business was off-set somewhat by the launch of their new stores in mid-Queen Street, Parnell and North Wharf. At the same time, a massive jump in close-by customers arrived courtesy of numerous new apartment blocks opening up in the central CBD (together with commuters walking to and from the transit infrastructure).

RELIABILITY: Segway PTs are commercial-grade devices with legendary build quality and reliability. For example, Segway Tour companies such as Queenstown’s Segway On Q have been getting up to 30,000km out of their machines (that’s like riding twice around the world…actually a little more).

PRACTICALITY and CAPABILITY: By just about every measure a full-sized Segway Personal Transporter (PT) is superior to an e-scooter for the role of delivering food in an urban environment.

Hot pizza, curries, gourmet restaurant meals (even wine!) can be safely carried upright on a stable, self-balancing Segway PT using side pannier bags, front cargo frames, custom mounts, or wearable back packs.

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With its large tyres absorbing the bumps, the Segway PT is quick and nimble. It can negotiate curbs with ease, safely cross slippery surfaces, and climb the steepest hills. Only a Segway PT can come to stop in an instant, and turn on a dime. A Segway PT’s footprint is no wider than an adult’s shoulders, nor longer than an adult’s walking gait. It is equally agile and well-controlled at all speeds – including while the rider is at rest. The Segway PT was designed from the ground up to manoeuver in tight pedestrian spaces, and is equally at home moving at speed alongside traffic and across open spaces.

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Compare that list of attributes with an e-scooter: small wheels, unable to climb curbs, tyres lack the surface area to keep traction on slippery surfaces, stability and braking force are rather limited, turning circle is enormous, and then there is the difficulty climbing the hills that many New Zealand towns are built on….

An e-scooter footprint is equally as wide as the shoulders of the adult who is riding it, but its length is three to four times longer than a Segway PT; agility is lacking at low speeds, and with small wheels stability is reduced at higher speeds on uneven surfaces (especially if the rider has a pizza-sized backpack swinging about).

But of course we’ve known all of this for decade or two. The laws of physics don’t change, but sometimes it does take a little time (or a crisis) for a good idea to catch on.

Segway PTs are ready and available to rent on a weekly basis, and for outright purchase 0800 2 SEGWAY or email us segwaynz@icloud.com

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‘Swipe Out’ success with AA Rewards, BP fuel and Segway (2004 to 2006)

From 2004 through 2006 Segway New Zealand participated in massive nationwide ‘Swipe Out’ promotions in conjunction with the AA Rewards scheme operated by the Automobile Association with their main partner BP.

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2006 poster at BP service station

Segway Personal Transporters were the #2 ranked prizes each year. By value, the Segway PT ranked between the top prize of a motor vehicle (small cars the first year, a ute the next) and lesser prizes such as trips to Fiji, Apple iPods and Sony Walkman Phones. But by desirability, surely the Segway PT ranked #1!

Thousands of billboard posters at BP service stations, at bus shelters, on billboard walls and at shopping malls along with in-store promos at retail partners were joined by pages and pages of adverts in magazines. Plus, the promotion featured lots of prime-time television that put the Segway PT front-and-centre in living rooms for two years running. The 2005-6 promotion even featured a stunning, computer-animated television commercial focused around a journey on a Segway PT.

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BP service stations featured heavy promotion of AA Rewards (2006)

Four Segway HT i167 units were given away by AA Rewards in 2004-5, and a fifth was deployed at promotional events for the next few years. Prizewinners ranged from a well-known doctor in Auckland (who used his to cruise the wards) to a retired couple in remote Hokitika.

Here’s a scan of a letter Segway New Zealand included inside the cartons shipped to prizewinners in 2005 (remember, this was back when PTs were being called HTs).

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Scan of a letter sent to prizewinners in 2005

The next year, four off-road Segway XTs were given away by AA Rewards. Appropriately, one of the prize winners was a farmer in Taranaki….thats right, move over, quad bikes! The successor models to the XT – the Segway x2 and x2 SE – have proven particularly popular with those on the land.

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Designed at the turn-of-the-century and built tough for commercial use, by 2005 the Segway PT range had expanded to the HT Human Transporter for general usage, the XT Cross-terrain Transporter, the GT Golf Transporter, as well as a special HT spec’d for policing roles (not shown). The banner above is a Segway NZ original design from 2005. Today hangs in a barn on a working farm – just above the spot where a couple of Segway x2 SE’s are parked and recharged at the end of each day of work outdoors.

A number of well-known businesses have given away Segway products over the years. The very first was a Lion Nathan, who gave away an HT i167 to launch the ‘Johnny Walker in a can’ pre-mix RTD drink at the end of 2003. Alas, that promo hit a bump in the road due to an accord between government and the alcohol industry not to offer motor vehicles or boats as prizes. We were quick to point out that the Segway product in question was exempt from the ‘motor vehicle’ definition under the then-latest amendment to the Land Transport Act (a matter that was ultimately settled in a court ruling almost a decade later, finding in the Segway PT’s favour).

In 2004 Mitre 10 gave away a Segway HT p133 in a promotion to trade customers, while energy drink brand ‘V’ was busy giving away free rides on Segway PTs at outdoor events throughout the country. All you needed to do was purchase some cans of V.

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Promo card for ‘Segway Hire’ (pre-Segway New Zealand) sponsored by V energy drinks (2004)

In recent years the Ninebot by Segway KickScooter has become a popular item for promotions. For example, more than two thousand ES2’s were bundled with Samsung phones by Spark as part of a major promotion at the end of 2019.

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Spark NZ bundled the Ninebot by Segway ES2 with the Samsung Galaxy 10 in November 2019

Loomo robot to help out at Auckland hospital during Covid-19 crisis?

Last week Segway New Zealand was approached to provide a Segway Loomo robot for use in wards at Auckland’s Middlemore hospital.

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Loomo all scrubbed up and ready to help

Operating in ‘avatar mode’ Loomo would enable a self-isolating specialist to provide interactive, step-by-step instruction to other staff on how to correctly put fit PPE (Personal Protective Equipment such as respirator masks, eye and face shields, gowns, etc). She would use Loomo’s built-in camera to watch and check this has been done properly, while communicating via Loomo’s colour screen, loudspeaker and microphone array.

With correct cross-infection controls in place, Loomo could potentially permit this one supervising staff member to “virtually visit” up to three different theatres of operation at one of Auckland’s busiest hospitals.

Also being explored is the concept of mounting an iPad tablet onto Loomo to provide a second, larger screen and alternative viewing angle positioned at a higher elevation.

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Here is a video of a Loomo with an iPad mounted in this fashion.

The operator would use two devices simultaneously. For example, a smartphone or tablet is used to drive Loomo around the hospital in Avatar mode, while another device is used to broadcast to the iPad using an app such as Zoom, or Apple’s FaceTime.

There are some protocols to be developed before deployment can take place.

Elsewhere, New Zealand businesses are conducting research with Loomo robots exploring roles where they interact with disabled and elderly persons, and for guest guidance and ‘room service’ applications in hotels.

In related news, here is a video of a Double telepresence robot being used by a business owner to visit his brother who is in isolation inside a hospital ward in Arizona, USA. We wrote an article about Double when it was launched.

 

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