Archive for January, 2016

New tour opens: see ‘Rotorua by Segway’

Rotorua by Segway opens for business tomorrow (2 February 2016) with their brand new fleet of Segway Personal Transporters.

For the first time, tourists visiting New Zealand’s world-famous centre of geothermal activity can take morning or afternoon tours that pass by active, bubbling mud pools and colourful, steaming hot cauldrons. Sites such as the stunning Government Gardens are also on the route. Find out more and book via their website, or visit their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/rotoruabysegway/

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According to Saturday’s Rotorua Daily Post article:

Rotorua By Segway is the brainchild of local business people Richard and Julie Sewell and Mr Sewell’s sister and brother-in-law Simon and Robynne Watson of Auckland.

“We got the idea when we were on holiday in Italy and Spain. We took three Segway tours while over there and were quite intrigued….they were the highlight of our trip.”

He said Segway New Zealand was invaluable in terms of putting together the tours.

The business owners have spent several months preparing the launch, including careful route planning and identification of hazards, to ensure customers enjoy a safe trip around Rotorua.

 

“It’s a little quirky and we hope we do well in the market. We have six Segways, so we can take five people at a time with our amazing guide Rachel Sinclair. It’s a 2-hour tour with an intro to the machine that takes about 20-25 minutes to get people confident on the machines if they haven’t used them before.”

The tours start and finish at Urbano Bistro restaurant, located in the middle of the hotel and motel accommodation district of Fenton Street, just a couple of blocks from the centre of town. The tour route makes use of the new ‘Green Corridor’ council initiative to make walking, cycling and personal electric vehicle use safer and easier through the city, by way of a shared space that is demarcated from other traffic. Segway Personal Transporter tours are an ideal example of exactly how such projects do attract new business into the CBD.

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“By the end we hope they will all be thirsty and hungry and to pop into the restaurant to talk about their experiences. We like to think it will complement our business here. The tours are small and personal, which was what we really liked when we were overseas,” he said.

Segway Tours have become a very popular tourist activity – typically #1 on TripAdvisor in every town where they are offered (or at least in the top 5). For Rotorua, Lakes Council Deputy Mayor and the leader of the Economic Growth Portfolio, Dave Donaldson, says this new Segway enterprise is a testament to the Sewell’s entrepreneurial spirit, and a great addition to the city’s many offerings to visitors and locals alike. After taking the tour yesterday together with Mayor Steve Chadwick and the council CEO, Mr Donaldson said:

 

“It was a wonderful experience, even for a local familiar with the landmarks and natural features. Their guide Rachel has a fantastic welcoming personality and great people skills. We were given brilliant tuition in operating the Segway and from then on was pure enjoyment.

“For a tourist it would be both enjoyable and educational. It’s run very responsibly and potential patrons are in for an absolute treat,” Mr Donaldson said.

The tour uses five Segway i2 SE models for tourists to ride. This model offers a safe, comfortable ride with a footprint no wider that a persons shoulders. A front bag enables tourists to carry additional clothing, personal items such as a camera, and a water bottle. The tour leader uses the versatile Segway x2 SE Patroller model, featuring hi-viz reflective shields, a larger integrated bag to hold additional safety equipment, and is equipped with soft-riding Turf tyres.

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Tauranga Airshow flows smoothly with Segway PTs

Four Segway Patrollers staffed by Watchdog Security helped the 2016 Tauranga Airshow flow smoothly on the ground, as classic fighter planes filled the air above on a very hot summers day.

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Amongst a crowd of more than 7,000 people, the Segway Personal Transporters (PTs) played key roles in:

  • patrolling fence lines, where the public try to climb over to enter without paying.
  • regularly and securely ferrying cash from the ticketing gate to a distant building where the money safe was located
  • responding rapidly to on-site incidents

Segway’s i2 SE and x2 SE ‘Patroller’ models are specially designed to work hard in security deployments. They stand out in the crowd with hi-viz shields and flashing lights, and feature carefully designed cargo carrying capabilities suited to the needs of security staff. On Segway Patrollers, staff can make their way through crowds more quickly and more safely than by other methods (bicycle, golf cart, etc).

Just four watchdog staff were able to cover the same ground as a dozen or more individuals on foot, due to the ‘force multiplier’ effect that is illustrated in the following diagram:

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Segway Patrollers were first used to secure the Tauranga Airshow in 2010, then again in 2012 and 2014. This year, there will be a second airshow in March 2016.

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A little bit of Segway miniPRO Polo fun on a Sunday afternoon

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Some friends came around for lunch…..and the next thing you know, we’re inventing the next evolution of Segway Polo using the new Segway miniPRO Personal Transporters.

Small, fast, agile and incredibly fun!

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Segway surprises at CES with robots, new personal transporters, new logo

When America’s Segway and China’s Ninebot completed their strategic combination in 2015, many people wondered what the future would hold. Now we know.

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At the US Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas last week, Segway again garnered worldwide attention when it unveiled a string of surprises, including the Segway Advanced Personal Robot.

First, Segway formally announced the expansion of its business lines into two major categories, Personal Transporters and Personal Robotics. The first category was expanded with the launch of the new Segway miniPRO Personal Transporter.

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Even if some people will like to think of the Segway miniPRO as a hoverboard killer, it is a serious tool for getting around – not a childrens’ toy. It will be available to buy in New Zealand from March 2016 for $1,995 including GST.

You can place your order today by email or calling us on 0800 2 SEGWAY. We have demo units for the public to try in Auckland right now, if you’re not already convinced. The first thing you’ll notice is how much easier the Segway miniPRO is to ride than a hoverboard. Not only that – but you’ll also find you can travel quickly and comfortably across more demanding and uneven surfaces, including grass and gravel (Business Insider has a nice preview here). And unlike so many hoverboards, the Segway miniPRO is properly designed and built from high-quality components, so it won’t explode or catch on fire. Remember, this is not a hoverboard, it is a real Segway Personal Transporter that utilises patented LeanSteer technology.

Next up, while introducing Personal Robotics, Segway said:

In 2016, Segway will partner with Intel and Xiaomi to enter the home service robotics market. Segway seeks to create a futuristic concept by integrating existing technological proposals—a move that is critical for Segway’s personal robotics business. Following the business expansion, Segway will no longer be a brand limited solely to one category of personal mobility products, but will become a comprehensive technology brand that encompasses personal transportation, service robots, and many other types of products and services.

The Segway Advanced Personal Robot was demonstrated on stage and really captured the attention of reporters. The Guardian host’s Segway’s promotional video, while The Verge has a great short video from the show plus many photos. Elsewhere, PBSReuters and Wired all included it in their Best-of-CES roundups. Remember, this was not just an on-stage demonstration of how Segway continues to innovate, it was a first glimpse of a product you will actually be able to buy here in New Zealand later this year.

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Because it is built on the new Segway miniPro Personal Transporter platform, you can ride it as well. It has attachable arms, and an open-source operating system that uses Intel’s RealSense camera to “see” its surroundings, navigate complex environments and intelligently interact with users. A version with a developer kit will be available in the second half of 2016, and a consumer version will follow.

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These and other developments at Segway are being funded with new investment:

The industry and investment sectors have paid a great deal of attention to the group holding Segway and Ninebot. Today, the group announced that it received a new round of financing from Intel and GIC worth approximately $1.2 billion.

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A further announcement was that Ninebot will become a brand under Segway’s Personal Transporter business line. Here in New Zealand we sell the following Segway Personal Transporter lines:

  • Segway miniPRO (new product)
  • Segway i2 SE and x2 SE
  • Segway i2 SE Patroller and x2 SE Patroller
  • Segway three-wheeled SE-3 Patroller
  • Ninebot ONE E+ electric unicycle

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Finally, Segway launched a new website along with its new corporate visual identity (VI) system. The emphases of the new VI system are to demonstrate the vitality of technology, and to enhance the brand’s visuals on mobile phones and other new forms of displays. The new VI system has also begun to use a new logo.

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Best Segway t-shirt ever

 

A long time ago dinosaurs ruled the earth (and pterosaurs ruled the skies).

At their zenith, the mighty Tyrannosaurus Rex was amongst the most feared dinosaurs of all. All the other dinosaurs lived every day in fear of becoming T. Rex’s next convenient, pre-packaged, fast-food dino-dinner.

So it is not surprising that they made up jokes about Tyrannosaurus Rex, as a psychological coping mechanism. Mostly, they made fun of Tyrannosaurus’ funny little arms that weren’t much use for anything. Here are some examples of their jokes to illustrate just how mean-spirited those other dinosaurs could be.

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Often, in one last act of defiance, just as T. Rex gobbled them down, the dying-dinner-dinosaurs would taunt ‘T’ by calling out the teasing punchlines of their jokes…..hoping that in some small way they might leave a metaphorical bad taste in the back of that carnivorous throat. Or even cause T. Rex to question the very meaning of life, the universe and everything, thereby at the very least disturbing T. Rex’s digestion somewhat.

One day, a Tyrannosaurus Rex called Lisa (or ‘Lisasaurus’ as she was known to her friends) taunted back to her prey:

“Just you wait and see. You may laugh at my silly, tiny little arms today, but the time will come when you will see that I am the only dinosaur that is perfectly pre-evolved to ride the Segway Personal Transporter – the transport of the future. And when that day comes I will catch you and gobble you down into my big mouth even faster and more efficiently than ever before!”

It was a bold claim, indeed. And certainly a clever insight too, for it foreshadowed the central idea of Darwin’s theory of evolution by some 65 million years.

And just think, things might even have worked out that way for Lisasaurus and her lot.

But alas, just as Lisasaurus was letting out a self-satisfied, post-dinner belch of baby Brontosaurus, a big fiery rock fell from the sky and changed the course of history forever.

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