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.
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.
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.
I try not to mock hard-working entrepreneurs. They represent the future, after all. But when you see some random guy import yet another motorized unicycle from Shenzhen and then pretend he invented it on Indigogo, it becomes almost a public service to mock him. Or when somebody jury-rigs a chainsaw into motorized inline skates and brags it’s perfect for children. How can you not point out the stupidity of that?
And then there’s Segway, the grand daddy of ludicrous, overpriced, impractical transportational schemes. Dean Kamen sold the steaming mess to a distributor who promptly drove one over a cliff (that’s not metaphorical, that’s what he actually did). And whoever owns the brand now has tried to market smaller versions recently for $800 each. Don’t buy one.
I discovered a WheeledThing while wandering the galleries of West Chelsea!
At Chamber the Honda Motocompo, a “folding scooter”, is currently on display. It was made in the early 80s as a “Trunk Bike”. The idea was you would park your car… and pop out your scooter for your last mile. I think time has proven me right in stating this is still a bad idea.
It probably should be called – a handlebar and seat retracting scooter – but that probably sounds bad in Japanese too.
Once upon a time we mocked the Hovertrax for being pointless and probably not much fun. We should also have said “expensive,” because I notice that it sells for $1495.
So if you really, really want one of these segways-without-handles and you feel like spending less money, stop by the AirBoard online store, which sells a competing device that is, as far as I can tell, identical, and which sells for $999 (currently on sale for $849!).
We’ve made fun of drift trikes before. And of course, where there’s a bad idea, there’s a Kickstarter project somewhere to overcharge you for a trivial variation. In this case, to charge you $1700 for an electric drift trike.
“Bob said he wanted this Big Wheel™ to look ‘noble.” This is as close as I could get.”
They’ve released a video which, as is normal for these sorts of projects, consists mostly of people talking about the trike. However you do see it being used a bit. It looks like it would be fun for a few days before it got boring, which is better than a lot of other WheeledThings.
Nikola Tesla – Inventor of the modern alternating current electricity supply system.
Michael Faraday – Scientist who contributed to the fields of electromagnetism and electrochemistry.
Tesla Motors has a market cap of $26 Billion (4/27/15). I’m guessing the folks at Faraday Bicycles Inc. are hoping some of that old time smart guy magic will rub into their wallets too. Maybe they can cut a deal with Tesla Motors… buy a Tesla and get a Faraday.
What is a Faraday bike – well it’s a $3,500 electric bicycle that weighs 39 lbs. It’s got a steel frame and bamboo fenders. Basically it’s an expensive electric bicycle with a bit of style and an attempt at heritage. The battery which is mounted under the seat provides 20 miles of “pedal assist”.
I wish them luck, but it seems like just an overpriced heavy bike. If the bike was say, 20 pounds lighter, you might not need the “pedal assist”.