Archive for March, 2013

ADT Armourguard roll out first Segway Patroller at The Base shopping mall (Hamilton)

Today ADT Armourguard begin patrolling The Base shopping mall on a Segway Patroller.

Hamilton’s largest mall will be patrolled by an i2 Patroller model with Optic White reflective shields.

ADT Armourguard's new Segway i2 Patroller with Optic-White reflective shields

ADT Armourguard’s new Segway i2 Patroller with Optic White reflective shields

This will be the first white-shielded Patroller to be used a mall in New Zealand, and this colour scheme works well with Armourguard’s corporate brand. Elsewhere, Optic Yellow has been the more common colour choice amongst security deployments in this country, although white is used at Cornwall Park and by Auckland Transport at events such as Rugby World Cup.

For last couple of years The Base has been patrolled by Waikato Security on an i2 Patroller with Yellow shields.

Staff rider training and product orientation was performed by Segway New Zealand at ADT Armourguard’s Hamilton headquarters last week. Also, a number of staff employed by Waikato Security who have been working at the mall have moved to ADT Armourguard, so a smooth operational transition is expected.

The Segway Patroller has been incredibly successful at The Base, where the previous unit clocked up more than 16,000km over three years. As the mall continues to expand in size it is likely a second unit will be deployed.

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According to Segway, Inc. more than 1,500 police, security and public safety organisations worldwide use Segway Personal Transporters on a daily basis. Download and read more than a dozen Case Studies here.

versatility

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Robot chimp not even a little “bit like a Segway”

One of Segway New Zealand News’ most-read posts is “A bit like a Segway.” It explores the very long bows some journalists draw to connect the story they’re writing about a latest invention or concept to the Segway Personal Transporter (PT).

Here’s a story about a DARPRA research project about a robot that isn’t really a thing like a Segway PT. But what it is is a machine capable of working its way into dangerous areas where humans may not want to venture. Called CHIMP, it is a robotic “chimpanzee” with tracks and (clawed!) limbs. It can roll along, climb over things, stand up and open doors and climb ladders – perfect for exploring earthquake damaged buildings, damaged nuclear power stations, etc. It would also make for a fantastic monkey-butler around the home.

CHIMP

Not only is this design interesting in itself, but it reminds us that 21st century technologies are enabling other methods of locomotion over and above the common four wheeled or basic self-laying-tracked platform.

The Segway PT was the first practical self-balancing two-wheeled machine, made possible by advances in motor, computer, sensor and battery technologies. The Segway PT also led to a range of Robotic Mobility Platforms that offer self-balancing two wheeled, and statically balanced three and four wheeled platforms suitable for a wide range of uses. These include a clever mid-articulated model, and the powerful RMP 400 that can climb stairs, venture down tunnels, or into infernos fitted with a fire-fighting water cannon.

Examples of Segway Robotic Mobility Platforms

Examples of Segway Robotic Mobility Platforms

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30% of Washington, DC parking officers deploy on Segway PTs

No one likes to get a parking ticket.

Yet everyone wants to be able to find a free space so they can park and do their business, shopping, or visit friends.

Ensuring spaces are vacated so availability is fair for everyone is a key role of the parking enforcement officer.

In Washington, DC a third of the force deploy on Segway PTs. Starting with 40 Segway Personal Transporters (PTs) in 2008, the Department has added more PTs every year.  Today, a third of the 240+ team make use of the fleet.

Instant improvements in efficiency, mobility and visibility were obtained, as well as improvements in employee morale and community relations. Use of the Department’s petrol-driven cars was also reduced, helping to meet environmental goals.

Read the full case study here at the Segway Blog.

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More wounded US Veterans receive Segway PTs for mobility

According to NBC News, 26 more disabled veterans severely wounded in US military actions overseas received free Segway Personal Transporters (PTs) last week, bring to more than 1,000 Segway PTs that charity DRAFT (Disability Rights Advocates For Technology) has distributed under the Segs4Vets program.

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Interesting details in the original article include:

  • DRAFT says each recipient of a Segway sustained injuries in combat either in Iraq or Afghanistan, many from improvised explosive device blasts. These veterans suffered leg amputation, soft tissue damage, spinal cord injuries and severe orthopedic and neurological damage while serving.
  • DRAFT says their Segs4Vets program is meant to give these veterans a newfound level of mobility and independence that’s not always achieved by a traditional wheelchair.

Marine Chris Vanetten, who served two deployments and lost both legs after stepping on an IED during a foot patrol, told NBC 7 his new Segway would allow him to move around with more ease and play with his dog.

“I have a dog at home that loves to run, so this Segway is going to help me out a lot in keeping up with her. This means a lot,” said Vanetten. It will also help him enjoy the sights in comfort.

“I can go down to the bay and actually enjoy the scenery instead of just thinking about how much my legs hurt and trying to find the next bench to sit down on,” said Vanetten. “I mean, this [Segway] is a life-changer.”

Veteran Scott Schroeder, who lost both his legs when his unit’s military vehicle rolled over an IED, told NBC 7 he’s excited to take his new ride out for a spin. More importantly, Schroeder, who now has prosthetics, says the Segway will make it easier for him to move around and play with his kids.

  • According to DRAFT, Segs4Vets received a blanket waiver from the Pentagon in 2006 allowing the non-profit organization to donate Segways to military personnel. Since then, the organization has given more than 1,000 Segways to disabled warriors and to military rehabilitation facilities in San Diego, Washington, D.C., and San Antonio.

From photos included in the original article, it appears most recipients received the Segway i2 model, and at least one received an i2 with optional seating attached.

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Segway announces development of a three-wheeled transportation device for public safety

Segway Quality, Value Priced Product will be Available in Q4 2013

Segway Inc. has announced the development of a new three-wheel personal transportation product targeted at the public safety market to compliment its existing Segway Patroller range.

This market sector includes organisations such as private security (e.g. guards out on patrol), Police, traffic management at events, ambulance officers, and other emergency response and inspection roles. Companies like FIRST Security and ADT Armourguard currently use Segway Patrollers at shopping malls and Universities throughout New Zealand, and at larges sites such as Coca-Cola and DB Brewers in Auckland.

“Our customers are demanding a feature-rich, quality-made three-wheel device that is value priced. We are going to meet their needs and deliver that product by the end of this calendar year,” said Roger Brown, President and Chief Executive Officer, Segway Inc.

Brown added, “Segway is a green personal transportation company. Our mission is to move people from point a to point b in a safe and highly-efficient manner. One element of our strategic and aggressive business plan is to grow our product portfolio by thoughtfully conceiving, designing and launching new and affordable products that meet customers’ needs and complement our current product offerings.”

Zero emissions will be a feature of this new, electric three-wheel transportation solution that will offer customers a statically stable option alongside the well-established, two-wheeled, dynamically stable (self-balancing) Segway Patroller range. This is not a replacement for the Patroller range, but rather a natural extension of it that is designed to extend into additional roles where a larger vehicle brings certain benefits. For example, it could be left parked on an intersection with safety lights flashing.

According to the Boston Business Journal, Brown says the new design will address weaknesses in current competitive products.

“We’re going to embed a lot of technology into this product. Lighting features, security features including cameras, and other things….Our customers will appreciate its design, reliability, visibility, versatility and most importantly, its competitive price.”

Availability

This product will be available in Q4 2013, and Segway New Zealand will begin accepting orders in Q3 2013. More information will be available right here on this site soon.

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Summit Strategic Investments acquires Segway, Inc.

Here is today’s announcement from Segway, Inc.

Summit Strategic Investments, LLC Acquires Segway Inc.

Segway to Refocus, Grow Product Portfolio and Drive Personal Transportation Innovation Worldwide

Bedford, New Hampshire – February 28, 2013 – Summit Strategic Investments, LLC (SSI) is pleased to announce its acquisition of Segway Inc. (Segway) for an undisclosed amount. The Company plans to refocus, grow its product portfolio and expand its worldwide network.

“We are pleased with SSI’s vision for Segway’s future. I’m confident that its investment in and repositioning of the Company will propel us forward,” said Mary Savage, Chief Operating Officer, Segway Inc. “We are the world’s leading provider of personal transportation and going forward we’ll prove why by successfully addressing customer needs, introducing new products and growing market share.”

“SSI has a 15 year record of investing in solid companies with strong brands that offer the market true value,” said Roger Brown, newly appointed President and Chief Executive Officer, Segway Inc. “Segway is an ideal fit for SSI’s strategic vision. My goal over the next few years is to refocus the Company on its strengths and leverage growth opportunities. In addition, we expect to announce the development of new products in the very near future.”

 

UPDATE: 10 March 2013, as reported in The National Business Journal (see full article):

When Segway Inc., based in Bedford, N.J., went up for sale, Roger Brown of Brentwood-based Summit Strategic Investments saw an opportunity and put down the highest bid for the company.

“When I visited the company, it was all this great energy, this great customer base worldwide,” he said. “It’s unique, it’s profitable and it’s worldwide. We can triple or quadruple the sales of this company with very little effort.”

Segway operates more than 250 distributors, dealers and experience centres in 80 countries. Brown said he envisions growth worldwide, especially in China, where there are currently few units sold there. “China is an incredible market,” he said.

Summit has been buying companies for 15 years and has invested in biometrics, real estate, health care and automotive industries, among others. Brown, who said he is a value investor who looks to Warren Buffett as a model, said he often chooses companies based on their people.

“Bricks and mortar and equipment can be replaced,” he said. “It’s generally the people. If we believe in the people and if we believe in the product, if there is go-to-market strategy and you have a good investment piece for that, that’s what we want to buy.”

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