Author Archives: stern

Segway, making transportation embarrassing since 2001

Segway is most famous for the embarrassing “Segway PT” scooter for overweight tourists and mall cops. The company has rolled along in embarrassing fashion, much like their signature product — they sold out to one of their distributors for pennies on the dollar in 2009 and he literally rode one of the devices off a cliff and died in 2010, and his estate sold the company to a private equity firm in 2013, which in turn dumped it on a Chinese competitor in 2015.

And the Chinese competitor is working hard to come up with new products worth of Segway’s cringe-inducing brand name.

The mellifluously named Segway Ninebot Drift W1 Electric Hovershoes
If you are rich and hate somebody, leave these under the Xmas tree for them.

Anything I would say would be pale compared to the reviews of actual owners…

“After less than 3 months of riding the tread on one shoe is separating from the hub, causing a nasty wobble. Segway support does not answer their phone, and they do not respond to the emails to technical support that their phone system says to use “for the fastest service.”

“Very difficult to get a hang of it. Lack of resources and training and manual make learning rather challenging. Also the build quality is a bit unfortunate.”

“Junk. That is all I have to say.”

“No good”

For updates on this fine product, check out the Amazon reviews. Segway’s newest marvel is on sale at the moment for only $300!

Swedish Startup to Bring Pogo Sticks to S.F. as E-Scooter Alternative

This story is probably fake, but I hope against hope that it’s real.

“SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — San Franciscans may soon be able to bounce their way around town, if a Swedish-based mobility company has its way.

Earlier this month, start-up company Cangoroo announced plans to deploy hundreds of pogo sticks in select cities to directly compete with electric scooters as a transportation option.…”

Pogo stick mobility. Photo: Cangoroo.tech

A perfect companion for your Segway

The entrepreneurs behind Runfun had a vision — what if, instead of putting on a pair of shoes and going running, perhaps while carrying a phone or MP3 player, you could instead charge up a robot called “rufus” that would roll ahead of you like a juggernaut, clearing the path of pedestrians and young children by smashing into them as you approach.

Rufus has a screen, so you can watch The Simpsons as you jog, or something

The entrepreneurs, by the way, seem to be Dutch. Their website promises that the device can “execute complete workouts” including “pyramid fartlek runs.” I don’t know what that means, and if you are Dutch, I don’t want you writing in to tell me.

This image is so very very sad.

$2500 or so, by the way.

https://www.runfun.com/en/rufus

Sproingy Wheels!

I ran across the following on AliExpress, selling for $109.73 a pair.

At first glance, it looks like inline skates where the wheels are at the bottom of a sprinted platform. However fatal such an arrangement must be, I was tempted.

The reality is somewhat less bad. The wheels and springs are options; you get the boots and both kinds of bases and attach whichever you prefer.

So apparently Segway is leaping into the skate market

They announced this a month ago but I’m hearing about it only now. For $400 you can pre-order a pair of Segway skates (or ‘personal rolling transport products’).

Segway-Ninebot W1 Skates

As best I can tell, there’s one wheel under each foot, and they’re like motorized Heelys, with the addition of Segway’s auto-balancing technology. They weigh about 7.7 pounds (3.5 kg) per skate, and they’re physically large enough that they won’t fit in any kind of normal backpack. Maximum speed is rated at roughly 7.5 mph and the battery lasts around 45 minutes depending on “riding” style and road conditions.

Camp time at Chautaqua

The concept of summer camp was apparently invented at the Chautaqua Institute, where they continue to offer day camp to this day. Cars are not used here; kids as young as four or five years old ride themselves to camp every morning on bicycles. This is one of several clusters of kids’ bikes parked at camp in the morning when everybody arrives.