Aussie (Segway) robots invade USA

Australian company Marathon Robotics’ has signed a $US50 million contract to provide their “humanoid moving targets” to the US military. Built on the flexible and adaptable Segway Mobility Platform (RMP), we first covered this invention at Segway New Zealand News here in June last year.

Further details can be found in the media, such as this story in Perth Now, which reports:

“It is universally acknowledged that there is no substitute for live-fire training” said Marathon chief technology officer Alex Makarenko.

“And our customers always stress that shooting a moving target is orders of magnitude more difficult than shooting a stationary or predictable target. We fully expect that training with live ammunition on smart targets will substantially improve moving marksmanship. “This is a milestone for us and for robotics — to the best of our knowledge, this will be the first autonomous ground robots ever fielded by the U.S. military,” said Makarenko.

White going, going….gone!

The very last new White i2 has been purchased by the family of a mobility impaired student who will use it to get between classrooms and around school in Christchurch. Segway i2’s in tough, anodized Black and recently released Metallic Sage colours are in stock and available now.

See the complete Segway model range at SpeedShow 2010 this weekend at ASB Showgrounds, Auckland (site #47, doors open Sat 9am-6pm, Sun 9am-5pm).

Get Segway PTs at your party or event – anywhere in NZ

As featured on The Erin Simpson Show (watch it now for free – Series 2010, Episode 64, segment 2 – at TVNZ On Demand), you can have fun with a Segway Experience at your next birthday party, family fun day, office party, conference or just about any event. You can enjoy supervised Segway Rides or even the ‘Segway Challenge‘ team events at your place, or take Guided Tours at scenic locations.

To find a fantastic Segway activity close to where you live, or at the place you’re next going to visit or holiday at, click the Guided Tours & Short Rides link found at the top of every page at

See us at SpeedShow (24-25 July 2010)

For the third year running Segway New Zealand is exhibiting at SpeedShow, where you can ride the Segway Personal Transporter (PT).

See our genuine Ferrari Segway i2 – one of only 40 in the world (and the only two in the Southern Hemisphere are both in NZ). We’ll have the cross-terrain x2, the fairway-ready x2 Golf and the all-purpose i2 for you to ride, and we might even have a classic Segway PT on display so you can discover just how far the Segway range has evolved over the past decade or so.

Come to SpeedShow 2010 and meet our staff: Elayna, Lisa, Lydia and Philip, and find out how you can use the Segway PT for work and recreation. As you’d expect, once again SpeedShow management personnel are using PTs for on-site productivity, and we’ll have all of our NZ Case Studies available covering local security, delivery, productivity, personal mobility and recreational applications for you to take away.

SPECTACULAR Speedshow 2010 has millions of dollars worth of exhibits on display!

• First NZ public showing of the $600,000 Bentley Mulsanne.
• First Australasian showing of the radically beautifulPeugeot RCZ.
• 12 litre aero-engined Sunbeam. It’s huge and a rarity.
Ferrari 430 Challenge – Just arrived in NZ from Italy.
• Direct from the USA – Nissan’s “greatest ever Supercar” – the Stillen R35 GT-R
• and much, much more!

Visit or follow us on FacebookGet your tickets NOW through Ticketek or buy them at the gate.

PTs on NZ TV this week…and the very last White i2

THURSDAY (15 July): catch extreme Segway action on Tankboy TV. Shot in New Zealand last summer, this feature is part of velocityV on Stratos at 8:30pm. Stratos is on both SKY (channel 89) and FREEVIEW (channel 21).

FRIDAY (16 July 2010): watch The Erin Baker Show on TV2 at 5:00pm for an episode all about getting around on wheels. Catch Erin and her helper having fun on PTs, as she interviews Segway New Zealand’s Philip Bendall. In addition to PTs, see bikes, skateboards and the studio audience all on roller skates. Look for more prime-time TV early next month, where the first episode of a new series features the Segway PT being used in a security role at a NZ university. Look for details about this show in a future News item here before the end of this month.

BE QUICK: If you want to become the owner of a White i2 then you better be quick!

The White i2 looks striking, but over time it has become the least popular of the three colour options and now Segway, Inc. has announced it is being phased out. White has been available since the i2 launch almost four years ago, but once the Metallic Sage colour was released in 2008 it fell to about 10% of our local NZ sales. Segway NZ has just one White i2 colour kit remaining in stock – and we cant get any more. We know every owner of a White i2 loves their colour choice, so if you want the very last White i2….now is good.

Six years on, PT “workhorses” are still going strong amongst Kiwifruit, students and traffic

Six years ago two very different customers put their Segway e167 models to work in very different – but equally demanding – roles. In 2010 these same PTs are still going strong – a testament to the robust engineering designed and built into every Segway product.


Award-winning Kiwifruit orchardist Doreen Bendall had been using a small two-stroke motorbike to get around her Tauranga property for years, and took the opportunity in 2004 to begin using a Segway PT instead. The e167 model features twin pannier bags and a front bag for cargo. Compared with a motorbike the PT has much greater carrying ability, and over the years these bags have transported all kinds of tools and equipment: pruning shears and shovels, posts and battens, hammers and nails, coils of wire and strainers – you name it, the e167’s has carried it.

Doreen prefers the PT over the motorbike for many reasons. Because all Segway models are completely stable even at stopped or traveling at slow speeds it allows observation of the vines without dismounting. Compared with a motorbike the PT is safer to ride – especially in wet, slippery conditions regularly encountered as part of farming. Another everyday benefit is that the electric, zero-emission PT is quiet and does not emit any fumes or blue smoke. The PT has proven maintenance free, apart from checking the tyre pressure every month or two. In comparison, the motorbike needed regular refueling with petrol and two-stoke oil, and because it had so many moving parts there was always something that needed attention. This often resulted in down-time during which the motorbike was non-operational. Even on a 6 hectare (15 acres) orchard the productivity lost from having to walk from the house (or packing shed/workshop) to the particular part of the property where work was being done could add up to half an hour per day (add it up yourself: five there-and-back trips, with each leg taking 3 minutes longer to walk than by PT or motorbike – that’s five times 6 minutes, or half an hour). For a small business, 30 minutes of lost time per day is a real cost to profitability.

Doreen Bendall (and her late husband Gordon) have received industry awards for Kiwifruit Growers of the Year, and Green-variety Kiwifruit Growers of the year. She regularly achieves some of the highest orchard gate returns per hectare in the industry. One of the ways such high productivity is obtained is through adopting the latest methods and technology – and being the first orchardist in the world to begin using a Segway Personal Transporter (PT) is an example of this.


In 2004 Massey University’s Palmerston North campus became the first place in New Zealand to begin using a Segway PT for security. This visionary deployment was the touchstone for many more New Zealand Universities and private security companies gaining increased efficiency and delivering improved quality of service with Segway PTs. Although unproven (and virtually unknown) at the time, the advantages of putting security staff onto PTs is now well-established.

Today, this very same e167 model is still in everyday use. It is used daily for traffic control and parking enforcement, for rapid response to the far corners of the campus, and at a variety of special events.

Maintenance has been minimal: three years in, the original Nickel Metal Hydride batteries were upgraded to the then-brand-new Lithium option (delivering more than double the range per charge); and more recently the tyres were replaced (you can see the new, enhanced traction “IRC Snow Tyres” in the right-most photo). Other than these wear parts, it is the very same PT doing the rounds today as was first delivered six years ago.

Buyers of brand new Segway PTs today can expect utility from their products for many years because Segway’s engineers have designed a high quality machine built to work hard and long. The 2003-06 models offered serious cargo options only on the i-167/170/180 and e-167 models (all had narrow wheels; there was no cargo option on the XT apart from a front bag). Every modern i2 and x2 Segway PT and Patroller can be fitted with your choice of Universal Cargo Plates and hard, lockable Cargo Cases. A Front Bag can be fitted to standard i2 and x2 models (and is part of several packages), while all Patrollers have built-in bags.

The image below shows the first-generation e167 model (2002-2006), facing an i2 fitted with Cargo Cases, an x2 Adventure package than includes a Front Bag and Universal Cargo Plates, and an x2 fitted with a Front Bag and Cargo Cases. Whatever your application, there is a Segway PT that will improve the productivity of your business.

Blog at

Up ↑