A show with everything from dinosaurs to Segway PTs

Since its early beginnings as an A&P Show in 1892, to its 30th anniversary as the Waikato Home & Garden Show last weekend, Hamilton is home to an annual event with everything.

This year, across four days, tens of thousands of people were witness to it all – from the latest in transport with the new Segway ‘SE’ models….

WHGS2

…to the very first Segway Personal Transporter (PT) ever imported into New Zealand…

The first Segway PT i167 imported into New Zealand in 2003, seen here next to a Triceratops (and a giraffe)

This is the first Segway PT i167 imported into New Zealand in 2003. It is seen here next to a Triceratops and a giraffe in an artistic expression depicting 70 million years of evolution in megafauna locomotion compressed into a static display spanning just a few square meters

…to a live, daring and thrilling reenactment of the second-most famous scene from the movie Titanic:

"I'm Flying, Jack"

“I’m flying, Jack!”

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  1. #1 by Simon on October 28, 2015 - 5:04 am

    Have you had a chance to experience Self Balance Boards? How do you think they stack up against your segway?

  2. #2 by segwaynz on October 28, 2015 - 9:42 pm

    Hi Simon, thank you reading our post. Yes, ‘Self Balance Boards’ sure are fun to ride. In New Zealand, they are typically a fifth of the weight and a tenth of the price of a genuine Segway PT, with very different capabilities. Segway PTs are a tough, durable machine with a wide range of applications – commuting, mobility for disabled, policing and security patrols, commercial tours, warehouse logistics, deliveries, farm and orchard applications, etc. At this point in time, ‘boards’ appear to be suitable for fun and commuting, where they can offer a ‘last mile’ commuting solution – at least for some people in some locations. They are just light enough to pick up and carry for a while (but 10+kg does get heavy to carry quite quickly). Their biggest limitation is the small diameter of the wheels, which makes them uncomfortable (or unable) to ride over bumpy/rough surfaces. In New Zealand, many urban footpaths (sidewalks) and shared paths have joins, bumps, etc, so riders do need to stop regularly to lift and briefly carry the ‘board’ (this is also the case for skateboarders). So, their utility for ‘last-mile’ really depends on what suitable route options a rider has ahead of them for their journey. They are small enough to take on public transport, which is great. They are already becoming popular as a way to get between distant classes on larger campuses. Perhaps the biggest issue at this stage of market development is how most manufacturers are ‘racing to the bottom’ on price – and therefore build quality, device capability and ultimately rider safety. Many brands state their devices have been designed as suitable for use on smooth, indoor surfaces (i.e. are only splash-proof – at most), and are sold with batteries carrying only a 6 month warranty. Such devices are not going to be useful outdoors for very long. Finally, the elephant in the room: because they operate using the same principles as the Segway Personal Transporter (PT), these ‘boards’ may very well be found to be in breach of Segway/Kamen patents (see our posts from 5,14 21 September 2015 for more information about this).

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