University of Canterbury upgrades first of two PTs used for campus mail delivery

Canterbury University was the first in the Southern Hemisphere to deploy both security staff and mail delivery staff on Segway Personal Transporters back in 2006. This initiative has been so successful that today this campus operates a fleet of six Segway PTs

After six years of flawless service, the first of two HT i180 models used daily for mail has been retired and replaced by an i2. The second i180 is scheduled for replacement at the start of 2013.

Throughout this time the fleet has been maintained and supported by Graeme Gordon of Urban Wheels, Christchurch. Wear parts such as grips and one set of tyres were replaced over this period, as well as one CSB, meaning maintenance and running costs were minimal. Batteries were replaced at the start of year five.

University of Canterbury’s new Segway i2 kitted out with custom mail and parcel bags; close-up of modified original Lower Cargo System brackets using a disc grinder so they fit i2 model

The i180s were fitted with Upper and Lower Cargo System and custom mail bags. Segway New Zealand modified these parts to fit the i2, enabling them to be reused.

Mail delivery using Segway PTs delivered dramatic improvements in productivity at the University of Canterbury. More recently, Auckland Hospital began delivering mail using a Segway PT. Ask for our published Case Studies on both of these deployments.

Another long-term user of a Segway PT at Canterbury University is the Locksmith, Ian Steele. He uses an i180 fitted with custom tool kit holders and parts bins, and says he now completes twice as many jobs in a day.

Locksmith Ian Steel and his customised Segway i180 at University of Canterbury

EMEX 2012 this week: visit Segway NZ at site 4058

Segway New Zealand returns to EMEX this week, from Tuesday 1 May until Thursday 3 May 2012 at Auckland Showgrounds, Greenland. Auckland hosts this Engineering, Machinery and Electronics Exhibition only once every two years, so be sure to find us at site 4058 and experience riding the Segway Personal Transporter (PT).

Visitors may also see show organiser Rob Lavender getting around the show on a Segway PT, as he has done in previous years. Utilising the manoeuvrability, speed and tiny footprint of the Segway PT for Event Management quickly became a popular productivity solution last decade in New Zealand.

Segway NZ has previously exhibited in 2006 and 2008, and this year we will have the full range of Segway Personal Transporters on display.

Discover how the i2 model is ideal for worksite and warehouse applications, inspection and patrol roles, and how the i2 Commercial Cargo has been deployed for delivery and ‘picking’ roles at businesses around New Zealand. And for when the going gets tough, the tough Segway x2 model gets going to carry you across a wide variety of outdoor environments.

Dozens of Kiwi businesses that have deployed Segway Personal Transporters (PTs) in engineering-centric and productivity-centric roles, including Wingut Films (Peter Jackson’s studio), DB Breweries, Converga (NZ Post), the Universities of Auckland, Canterbury, Massey and Victoria, Concut, Pro-Metal Industries, Patchell Stainless, Able Tasman Forestry Services, and DME.

Segway New Zealand's site being built up at EMEX 2012 the day prior to opening

Auckland’s ‘BIG little City Guides’ clock up almost 6,000km on PTs

Eighteen months after their introduction, Auckland’s ‘BIG little City Guides’ (ambassadors) have clocked up almost 6,000km on the pair of Segway i2 Patrollers.

The guides are a Heart of the City initiative. During the summer months at least six Guides can be found out on the streets of downtown Auckland assisting tourists and locals with advice and support, working with City Watch wardens and passing on information to emergency services. At any one time, two Guides will be on Segway Patrollers while the others are on foot. During winter, the team size is reduced, so the improved productivity, efficiency and visibility offered by the Segway Patroller becomes even more valuable to the organisation in terms of delivering ‘bang for buck’ to the public.

Heart of the City Guides on their first day of patrol Nov 2010; staff rider training day Nov 2010; new green "Big Little City" branding for 2011

Heart of the City is downtown Auckland’s business association. CEO Alex Swney had been keen to put their City Guides onto Segway Personal Transporters (PTs) for years, and in November 2010 he  initiated a trial program with two rented Segway i2 Patroller models from Segway New Zealand. Eight staff were trained to ride, and the trial was so successful that Heart of the City purchased two Patrollers in early 2011. After just a year on the pavements, team leader Werner Mascarenhas reports the pair of Patrollers have clocked up almost 6,000km.

The Guides enjoy using the Segway Patroller because this model features a front shield to let people know who they are, a large front bag to hold free brochures and maps, and a raincoat and water bottle for the rider. The Patroller model is also fitted with comfort mats to absorb bumps during hours out on patrol. These Segway Personal Transporters are speed limited by Heart of the City to less than 12 km/h (a brisk walk or jogging speed), and there have been no collisions, incidents or accidents. Of course, this is not surprising because the Segway Personal Transporter was specifically designed to be safe and appropriate for use in busy pedestrian environments.

Atlanta, Georgia USA was the first city to deploy Ambassadors on Segway Personal Transporters in 2003, and they have become an increasingly common site in cities around the world.

Another Auckland organisation that has deployed Ambassador staff on a Segway Patroller over both summer 2010/11 and summer 2011/12 is Cornwall Park.

Cornwall Park: Segway x2 Patroller for summer 2010/11; Segway i2 Patroller with High Traction Tyres for summer 2011/12

Business networking by playing Segway Polo and other 21st century sports

Business and sport go together. Think golf, think sponsorship and branding, think corporate boxes, or breaking the ice by talking about last night’s game before a meeting starts.

While the old adage says a lot of business is done on the golf course, says golf is so business 1.0. If you want to meet and play with the movers and shakers of the modern world you have to get out and play 21st century sports such as Segway Polo.

In Playing Games with Networking read how Segway Polo tops a list that includes Ultimate Frisbee, Kiteboarding, Snow-Kiting and Dodgeball.

So who’s playing the new sports of the new millennium? Steve Wozniak (Apple co-founder) of course, now add Richard Branson (Virgin), Larry Page (CEO, Google), Drew Houston (CEO, Dropbox), Othman Laraki (Twitter), along with partners and founders from many of the main venture capital firms. Find out more about what these people say appeals to them in Playing Games with Networking. For example:

“Tech people were the ones willing to first spend $5,000 on a Segway. Then we started saying, ‘What could we do with these things?’ And we wanted to socialize,” says Wozniak.

Woz hits the ball fair and square – these new sports are a way for enthusiastic people to spend time with those who they’d otherwise probably never be able to reach. Check out some of the players and touring team members of New Zealand’d first Segway Polo team The Pole Blacks: Rod Dury (CEO Xero, Aftermail), Seeby Woodhouse (founder of Orcon, CEO Green Carbon), Steve Simms (CEO Tomizone), Andrew Somerville (Voyager, Biggie, and of course The Beer Festival) and technology writer Peter Griffen (ex-NZ Herald, Science Media Centre). And of course Segway Polo has been a fixture at MORGO since 2007 – the annual get-together by the who’s who local technology entrepreneurs (this event has showcased the launch of inventions such as the Martin Jet Pack, Yike Bike and the REX Exoskeleton).

Philip Bendall – managing director of Segway NZ and captain of The Pole Blacks – says “If Polo is the sport of Kings, then Segway PT Polo is the sport of technology Kings.”

Check out this 30 second promo by the Stockholm Segway Polo Club – hosts of the Segway Polo World Cup 2012.

Every Day is Earth Day with a Segway PT

Earth Day is 22 April. At Segway, it’s Every Day!

Today, Segway’s Personal Transporter (PT) is used by many different kinds of people and in a wide variety of ways. Riders include commuterstour operators, law enforcement officerspublic safety personnel and warehouse executives. You might wonder…what do they have in common?  They all care for their environment and have made a proactive choice to help preserve it.

It’s a demonstrable fact –The Segway PT can drastically reduce greenhouse gas emission and substantially increase energy efficiency by replacing short-distance and single occupancy car trips. It’s the perfect choice for everyday gliding, law enforcement and commercial applications, which once required the use of a traditional vehicle. It’s compact, it’s robust AND it’s green!

Freeview New Zealand: new tv advert features character on Segway PT

As the deadline for the end of analogue television broadcasting in New Zealand approaches, Freeview and rival SkyTV are ramping up advertising for their respective digital solutions.

The latest Freeview tv advert features a character on a digitally rendered first-generation Segway Personal Transporter (PT) – you can watch it here. It is modelled on the p-133 model but with the magical ability to fold down and away into a briefcase – a little like 1960’s cartoon character George Jetson’s flying car. This advert is being played in prime time on all major channels.

Segway PTs – both real and rendered – have featured in a number of high profile TV adverts (and other media) in New Zealand. These include major campaigns for Johnny Walker in 2004, the Automobile Association in 2005 and 2006, Telecom Xtra internet services in 2005, a wacky “dog rides a Segway” promotion for breakfast cereal Cluster Crisps in 2008 and again in 2009, and Yellow Pages in 2010 and into 2011.

You can see another digital rendering of a Segway PT in a brand new 3D Roadrunner vs Wile E. Coyote story released to cinema in 2010, and yet another in a very funny 90 second “prologue” from 2006 (be sure to watch it right until the end).

Segway on Q – new video promotes Queenstown tours

Segway on Q is one of New Zealand’s longest-established Segway Tour businesses.

Kevin and Joanne Hey pioneered guided tours along the picturesque Queenstown lakefront in 2006. Today, their business has grown to become one of this busy tourist town’s most popular attractions. The public certainly like to call it the most enjoyable and memorable activity.  Trip Advisor has consistently rated Segway on Q in the Top 5 activities for years. A number of different tours and activities are offered, including guided tours along the lakefront and through the Botanic Gardens several times per day, excursions to golf courses to play a round of golf on Segway PTs fitted out to carry both you and a bag of clubs, and group and corporate entertainment and team-building events.

Segway on Q has a stunning new promotional video that encourages visitors to their website to book a tour. Check it out there, or view it on YouTube here. Incidentally, Kevin was also the first person in the world to ride a Segway PT up the world’s steepest street – watch him climb Baldwin Street in Dunedin.

Self-balancing for mobility, productivity and fun (even on snow and ice)

When controversial broadcaster Paul Henry interviewed Philip Bendall (Managing Director of Segway New Zealand Limited) last month on RadioLIVE he was initially disbelieving that a Segway Personal Transporter (PT) is a safe, stable self-balancing platform suitable for a variety of uses, including mobility. During the interview Paul Henry expressed particular opinions about the Segway PT, but admits that he’s never actually been on one himself.

Philip said “If you’re never been on a Segway PT before, stop for a moment and consider just what self-balancing means. It means you don’t need to do any balancing because the machine does it for you. Its that simple, and that is what makes the Segway PT a safe and stable platform for just about every person. If you go back to the original patents you’ll see the inventors understood this, and in tests discovered that for a person with Parkinsons Disease the platform not only takes over balancing for that rider, but also acts to reduce their tremors caused by the disease.”

To illustrate just how good the Segway PT is at self-balancing under even extreme conditions, here are four photos taken from video of standard Segway PTs being used on snow and ice. The first is an original first-generation Segway i167 model from 2002 with standard tyres racing through several inches of snow amongst trees. The two stacked photos show a Segway i2 model being used on ice – the rider is shown playing a bit of ice hockey, and using a snow shovel to move the loose snow on top of the ice. This i2 is fitted with an enhanced traction tyre that is popular in New Zealand with security companies, Segway tours and many private owners of PTs that offers a bit more grip compared with the non-marking indoor/outdoor stock tyres. The last photo shows a group of four Segway x2’s having fun in the snow outside a European resort.

The original videos from which these still images have been taken can be found on YouTube by searching for SEGWAY and SNOW and ICE.

One of the more recent disabled Kiwis to begin using a Segway PT for mobility purposes is Tony Bayard, who is also President of CanTeen Nelson (the charity for children with cancer).

He is a recent graduate of Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology, and the Nelson Mail reports a Segway PT enabled him to participate fully in the main street graduation procession for his Bachelor of Information Technology degree in February 2012. He recently completed an internship at movie special effects company Weta Digital, and hopes to begin work full time there.

Tony has a rare hip condition that will require a double transplant this month in New Zealand, plus further treatment in Boston, USA later this year.

IN LINE: Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology Bachelor of Information Technology recipient Tony Bayard (photo courtesy Patrick Hamilton - Fairfax NZ).

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