a compendium of tech stuff

Jan 19, 2010

On 8:29 PM by Lalith Varun   62 comments




The Segway PT also known as Segway Personal Transporter is the world's first self-balancing human transporter. The Segway PT only has two wheels, yet it manages to stay upright by itself. To move forward or backward on the Segway PT, the rider just leans slightly forward or backward. To turn left or right, the rider simply moves the LeanSteer frame left or right. You get the sense of power and speed, yet you also feel a sense of safety and absolute control. It all feels natural, safe, and instinctive. The Segway PT can take you places that a car or bicycle can't - including inside many stores, office buildings, businesses, airports, elevators, and trains. Although they're ideal for short jaunts, Segway PTs can travel as far as 24 miles/38 km on a single battery charge, depending on terrain, payload, and riding style and speeds upto 20.1 kmph (12.5 mph).

Now let us know the basic parts that make up the Segway. The Segway is a combination of a series of sensors, a control system and a motor system. The primary sensor system consists of an assemblage of gyroscopes. Gyroscopic sensors are used to detect tilting of the device which indicates a departure from perfect balance. Motors driving the wheels are commanded as needed to bring the PT back into balance. The Segway PT has five gyroscopic sensors, though it only needs three to detect forward and backward pitch as well as leaning to the left or right. The extra sensors add redundancy, to make the vehicle more reliable. Additionally, the Segway has two tilt sensors filled with electrolyte fluid. Like your inner ear, this system figures out its own position relative to the ground based on the tilt of the fluid surface.

All of the tilt information is passed on to the "brain" of the vehicle, two electronic controller circuit boards comprising a cluster of microprocessors. The Segway has a total of 10 onboard
microprocessors, which boast, in total, about three times the power of a typical PC. Normally, both boards work together, but if one board breaks down, the other will take over all functions so that the system can notify the rider of a failure and shut down gracefully. When the vehicle leans forward, the motors spin both wheels forward to keep from tilting over. When the vehicle leans backward, the motors spin both wheels backward. When the rider operates the handlebar control to turn left or right, the motors spin one wheel faster than the other, or spin the wheels in opposite directions, so that the vehicle rotates.

The Segway is only slightly larger than a person, so it does not cause as much congestion as a car or a bike. Once they get to their destination, riders can carry their Segways inside with them without worrying about parking. And there's no need to stop by the gas station, as the vehicle runs on ordinary household electricity. There is really no limit to how people might use the vehicle. The Segway can fit in most places you might walk, but it will get you there faster, and you won't exert much energy. So what are you waiting for? Go get yourself the worlds first self balancing electric vehicle.

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