Archive for July, 2016

Adventures on Segway PTs in Mangawhai, Northland

Visitors to popular holiday town Mangawhai Heads can hire Segway Personal Transporters (PTs) to explore the area.

Local resident Blair Graham has been offering his fleet of Segway x2 models for hire since late last year, and says locals and holidaymakers are loving a new experience.

An article in the latest edition of The Mangawhai Focus reports:

For local Mangawhai father and amputee Blair Graham, the two-wheeled personal transport has proved to be invaluable. The eco-friendly device allows Graham more access to recreational activities especially when keeping up with his son, Monty.

“Having a Segway PT changed my mobility,” Graham says. “I can thoroughly enjoy doing things now that my kids love to do outside like bike riding, beach walks and just getting out and about.”

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Blair and his son Monty on their Segway Personal Transporters (photo courtesy The Mangawhai Focus newspaper)

Mr Graham first began riding a Segway PT four years ago, when he identified it as the only mobility device available that could take him to the places he used to go before a workplace accident resulted in a below-knee amputation. With large, softly inflated “quad bike style” tyres the Segway x2 model has greater ground clearance while being very light on the ground it covers. Zero emissions and near-silent operation add to the low environmental impact.

Adding an optional seating solution permits Mr Graham to sit down, and rest his legs from time to time while riding thereby relieving pressure between his body and his prosethic.

His desire to share “…the wonder of the Segway PT and how it empowers people like me to do more that I ever could before, and go places I never thought I’d be able to go again” led to the purchase of two more Segway PTs that he could use to start a business.

According to The Mangawhai Focus, he says:

“Every customer so far has been impressed with the ease of how they ride, they can’t believe how much fun they are,” Graham says. “I had a 92-year-old man have a go, he was amazed at how safe the machine felt.”

While Graham hires out the Segway’s for individual use, he says touring with him is beneficial as he encourages riders to try different terrains that they might not attempt if riding alone.

“I take people around the bush tracks, out to the [Mangawhai] Heads and along the beaches, it’s a great way to see the area in a different way,” he says. “Compared to the cost of a quad or motorbike, I believe in the future farmers will be using them.”

The fleet of Segway x2’s fit inside a customised trailer, making his business truly mobile. Mr Graham says he can bring the Segway Experience along to workplaces for ‘corporate break-out sessions’ and as entertainment at staff functions, as well as to family gatherings such as bbq and birthday parties.

To find out more check out: facebook.com/mobilesegwaytours

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7,000km delivering mail around Auckland Hospital

Between 2008 and 2013 a Segway Personal Transporter (PT) was responsible for delivering internal mail, medical files, documents, X-Rays and other vital materials to the far corners of Auckland Hospital’s sprawling campus in Grafton, Auckland. Staff from Converga (a division of NZ Post) were able to deliver mail 300% faster, on a route that took in all of the hospital’s outer buildings.

This Segway PT clocked up 7,026 km (4,366 miles) over almost five years on the job. Apart from replacing worn tyres, this Segway PT never skipped a beat or required any further servicing – a testament to the quality of engineering.

As you would expect from a vehicle designed from the ground up to be safe and convenient in dense pedestrian spaces, there were zero incidents: Segway PT – proven safe for use in New Zealand’s busiest hospital.

Technology and systems march forward, however. While the Segway PT was ahead of its time, the bell was tolling for old fashioned mail. Eventually the Segway PT’s mail route became obsolete. Paperwork disappeared as documents were digitised. The Segway PT was retired in 2013 when Converga’s contract came to an end. Today, this machine is owned by a Segway Tour business where it is used for daily excursions carrying tourists rather than letters.

“Cover more ground. Be more productive. Move more intelligently” was one of the slogans used to launch the Segway PT in 2002. All of these benefits were proved in spades at Auckland Hospital. Reprinted below is the content from our 2009 Case Study championing the spectacular success of this deployment of a Segway PT:

AUCKLAND HOSPITAL DELIVERS INTERNAL MAIL 300% FASTER

The quicker medical mail is delivered, the sooner doctors and medical professionals can act. So an efficient mail delivery operation at Auckland Hospital is an essential service on which the lives and well-being of thousands of people depend every day. If new technology can speed up mail delivery then its impact can make a real difference.

Converga (a division of Datamail Ltd, owned by New Zealand Post) contract to New Zealand’s largest hospital to receive, sort and deliver external (postal) mail along with internal mail being sent between departments.

Operations Manager Chris Boyce was hoping for a noticeable benefit when Converga introduced a Segway PT to their outdoors round in November 2008. What he wasn’t expecting was such a spectacular improvement in the quality of service they provide to Auckland Hospital.

Three times faster mail delivery

“The old mail run took about an hour on foot. Using our Segway PT it takes 20 minutes, tops. That’s a 300% increase in efficiency, and that is only part of the story – it gets even better…” he says.

“We used to do three rounds per day – morning, midday and afternoon, taking 3 hours in total. Now we do six or even seven rounds per day, taking only 90 minutes in total. Let me explain why that’s a really significant improvement. Firstly, on each round hospital staff are getting their mail up to 40 minutes sooner than before, so they can act on results faster.”

Double the mail runs in half the time

“Secondly, we’ve at least doubled the number of internal times mail is getting picked up and delivered every day, so in some cases mail gets to where its going 2 or 3 hours quicker than before.”

“Thirdly, one of our staff has saved 90 minutes of time per day. This is time he can spend in the mail room helping with sorting, taking the pressure off our other staff. And that makes everyone on the team happier.”

“And fourthly, doing the outside mail run has gone from being the most disliked job to being the favourite job. The outside run was 2km of walking to 7 different buildings, located all around the perimeter of the site, up and down some pretty steep hills carrying mail in a shoulder bag. It wasn’t much fun, and no one liked doing it. On the Segway PT the mail is carried in waterproof, lockable side cases, and the PT has no trouble gliding up even the steepest hills.”

 

Urgent mail response times slashed

In addition to scheduled mail runs, Converga is responsible for collecting and delivering urgent mail on demand, anywhere on site. Using the Segway PT, response and completion times have been slashed from 10-to-15 minutes down to just a few minutes.

“The Segway PT has been so successful on the outside run that now we’re looking at using more PTs on the inside routes. Because the outside route already includes some internal riding through buildings and up and down inside lifts (elevators), we already know how easily the PT navigates corridors filled with people, gurneys and other equipment.”

How it happened

Building on two years of mail delivery success using Segway PTs at the University of Canterbury, Segway New Zealand approached Converga’s General Manager Grant McKenzie. Auckland Hospital was identified as the first site for a practical demonstration, not only to Converga staff but also to Auckland District Health Board hospital management. They wanted to be sure that the Segway PT was going to be a safe and appropriate solution to operate on the grounds of New Zealand’s busiest hospital. As soon as they saw the Segway PT in operation, observed its active safety features and small footprint, they were convinced it was well-suited. Segway New Zealand provided all of the independent safety studies that had been completed by agencies and governments worldwide that concluded the Segway PT is safe for use in busy pedestrian spaces. Also provided was a Health & Safety Program (rules of operation) template that Converga could easily adapt for use at this specific site.

Operations Support Manager Mike Dunshea selected a white Segway i2 complete with a Front Bag and a pair of side Cargo Cases fitted over the fenders. The PT has built-in reflectivity on the front, sides and rear, and Segway NZ suggested adding additional SEGWAY reflectivity to the LeanSteer Frame and on the rear battery to maximise visibility (and to also answer questioning looks from any passer-bys who’ve never seen a Segway PT before).

Introducing the PT to the workplace

To introduce this new technology to the workplace, Segway New Zealand offered a PT for a trial period of several days. On the first day staff were trained to ride, then supervised while riding the delivery route so they could be shown how best to complete it efficiently.

Concludes Boyce: “The Chief Executive of the hospital is really impressed with what we’ve achieved simply by introducing a single Segway PT into our operation. We operate here under a contract, and it comes up for tender regularly. The PT has improved the quality of the service we’re delivering, and reduced our costs too. So it’s helped strengthen and secure our business for the future. Based on our success here I’m sure Converga will introduce PTs at many of our other sites too.”

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500,000 ‘hoverboards’ recalled in USA, while Segway launches safety-certified miniPRO

The US Consumer Product Safety Commission has ordered retailers to recall more than half a million ‘hoverboards’ because they have been determined unsafe. The US CPSC says:

“Consumers should immediately stop using these recalled products and contact the recalling company to return their hoverboard for a full refund, a free repair or a free replacement depending on the model.”

No product manufactured by Segway, Inc. is being recalled. Segway has never made a ‘hoverboard’ type device.

Segway does make the small, safe personal transporter called the ‘Ninebot by Segway miniPRO.’ The Segway miniPRO is a very petite, lightweight implementation of the Segway Personal Transporter, where the LeanSteer ‘handlebar’ has been shrunk down to ‘knee-steer’ size. The miniPRO is fun to ride and easy to take with you. Incorporating legendary Segway safety technologies, the self-balancing miniPRO is as sure-footed as it is agile across a variety of terrain.

The Segway miniPRO is the only small personal transporter that is safety certified under the strict new requirements known as UL2272. Accordingly, buyers can have confidence the Segway miniPRO won’t catch on fire or explode like so many ‘hoverboards’ have. The Segway miniPRO began shipping to customers in USA last week, and has been available to purchase in New Zealand since April 2016 for $2,295 including GST and delivery.

During 2015 ‘hoverboard’ manufacturers raced to the bottom on quality and price at spectacular speed. It comes as no surprise that it is not possible to build a self-balancing platform intended to transport a person that is both “cheap” and “safe.” By early 2016 a ban on sales was put in place in USA, and online sellers like Amazon and Alibaba halted sales until manufactures redesigned their products to meet the new UL2272 standard (to date, none have yet been able to do so). Australia banned ‘hoverboards’ from 20 manufacturers in March 2016 (many of these brands were also imported into New Zealand and sold here).

Yesterday’s recall was for 501,300 units made by 10 manufactures. The worst offender is cheekily-named “Swagway” that has had 267,000 devices recalled. An upcoming post will cover new legal action against Swagway and several other makers of ‘hoverboards’ that are claimed to infringe Segway’s many patents and copyrights.

Should buyers have thought twice before buying a product from a company with a trading name that blatantly rips off the highly regarded Segway brand? What kind of quality might a buyer expect in a car made by a company calling itself Merceedies, or Jagwire?

The Register reports:

“We are urging consumers to act quickly,” CPSC Chairman Elliot Kaye told ABC News. “We’ve concluded pretty definitively that these are not safe products the way they were designed.”

“This is a huge recall. It’s the recall we’ve all been waiting for to address this product that as soon as it came on the market presented a pretty significant fire hazard, and continues to present a fall hazard.

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Camouflaged Segway PTs about to disappear entirely!

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If you’ve been hiding out in the undergrowth, waiting to ambush your very own Segway Personal Transporter (PT) cleverly disguised in camouflage colours, you better leap now!

Tough, durable Segway x2 SE and i2 SE models kitted out in camouflage have been lurking in our range for a couple of years now, but of course we’d understand if you hadn’t seen them before.

Today, the bugle is playing The Last Post for the camouflage option.

But if you move quickly and stealthily, there might still be time to track down one for yourself. And pay not a dollar more than the standard model. Thats right, get the Camouflage i2 SE for $12,995 or Camouflage x2 SE for $13,995…..before they disappear for good.

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Queenstown Segway Tour opens new shop

Segway On Q has opened a new stop in the heart of New Zealand’s busiest tourist town.

Proprietor Kevin Hey predicts this high-profile location will lead to increased numbers of tourists taking his popular Segway Tours. Segway On Q has been operating for a decade, and consistently rates one of the top attractions in Queenstown.

 

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The shopfront features a Segway Personal Transporter mounted on a pedestal, and colourful photographs of tourists riding in front of Queenstowns most famous vistas. The shop is located on a high-visibility corner of busy Shotover Street, near the intersection with Beach Street.

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