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Nissan joins personal mobility field with ‘Segway-skis’

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October 27, 2009

The personal mobility device prototype developed by Nissan and Japan's AIST

The personal mobility device prototype developed by Nissan and Japan's AIST

The fact that the streets aren’t exactly swarming with Segways seven years after they went on sale hasn’t stopped some major players taking tentative steps (or wheels) into the personal mobility arena with their own device prototypes. As we’ve seen previously Toyota is working on the Winglet, while Honda recently displayed its U3-X experimental vehicle at the 2009 Tokyo Motor Show. Now Nissan is getting in on the act with its own prototype developed in partnership with Japan’s National Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (AIST).

The device consists of two footboards, which balance upon two wheels – a main wheel and a smaller wheel on the outer side. Each footboard features a ski-pole-like handlebar to help the user maintain balance while in motion and a motor to drive the device at around 5kmh. When joined together tilt sensors inside the footboards detect the user’s shift in weight to turn. Sensors can also detect nearby obstacles allowing the possibility of the device being used to carry luggage that follows its owner around.

When the footboards are separated the device’s movement is limited to forward and reverse with turning accomplished in the same way as a stilt walker – lifting each leg and device and turning before placing it back on the ground.

There’s no indication of if or when it will enter production, but the AIST and Nissan say they will continue to develop the device.

Via Plastic Pals.

About the Author
Darren Quick Darren's love of technology started in primary school with a Nintendo Game & Watch Donkey Kong (still functioning) and a Commodore VIC 20 computer (not still functioning). In high school he upgraded to a 286 PC, and he's been following Moore's law ever since. This love of technology continued through a number of university courses and crappy jobs until 2008, when his interests found a home at Gizmag.   All articles by Darren Quick
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1 Comment

Cool. well Japan's National Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (AIST) are very advanced in such field.

Dharam Rajput
29th October, 2009 @ 12:10 am PDT
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