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.
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.
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, PBS, Reuters 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.
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.
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.
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
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.