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Segway Inc. is the manufacturer of the two-wheeled, self-balancing Segway PT, the Segway miniPro and other personal transporters. Founded by inventor Dean Kamen, the name "Segway" is a homophone of "segue" (a smooth transition, literally Italian for "follows").

Segway Inc.
Subsidiary
Industry Personal transporters and robotics
Founded 1999[1]
Founder Dean Kamen
Headquarters Bedford, New Hampshire, United States
Key people
Roger L. Brown II (CEO)
Dr. Dean L. Kamen (Founder and chairman)
Judy Cai (Finance)
Matt Polimeno (Operations)
Sue Greeley (Human resources)[1]
Owner Ninebot
Website www.segway.com

Segway Inc. is based in New Hampshire, United States and has niche markets with police departments, military bases, warehouses, corporate campuses, and industrial sites; it holds many key patents regarding self-balancing personal transporters. Since it was acquired by Chinese company Ninebot in 2015 it has developed a stronger presence in the consumer market with smaller products such as the Segway miniPro. The legality of the use of these electric vehicles varies with jurisdiction.

Contents

HistoryEdit

OriginsEdit

 
Segway used by three policemen in Germany

The first patent by Dean Kamen for a self-balancing transportation device was filed in 1994 and granted in 1997[2] (followed by others[3]) in relation to the iBOT, a self-balancing wheelchair which he developed at DEKA, a company that he had founded in 1982.

Development of the iBOT started in 1990 with the first working prototypes available in 1992. In late 1994, DEKA signed a deal with Johnson & Johnson to manufacture the unit, with Johnson & Johnson paying for all subsequent R&D with DEKA received a smaller royalty fee than normal in return for their retaining rights to all non-medical applications of the technology. The iBOT was revealed to the public on Dateline NBC in a segment by John Hockenberry on June 30, 1999.[4][5]

Independent yearsEdit

Segway Inc. was founded in July 1999 to develop non-medical applications for the self-balancing technology, and the Segway PT, a two-wheeled personal transporter, was launched in December 2001[6] with first deliveries to customers in early 2002.

When it was launched in December 2001, the annual sales target was 40,000 units,[7] and the company expected to sell 50,000 to 100,000 units in the first 13 months.[8] By 2003, the company had sold 6,000 units, and by September 2006 approximately 23,500,[9] when all units sold up to that point were recalled[9] due to a software glitch that could cause the units to reverse, potentially causing riders to fall off.[10] In a March 2009 interview, a company official said the firm "has shipped over 50,000" Segway PTs.[11]

Segway Inc's investors remained optimistic. Dean Kamen predicted that the Segway "will be to the car what the car was to the horse and buggy"[12] and John Doerr, a venture capitalist who invested in the company,[13] predicted that Segway Inc would be the fastest company to reach US$1 billion in sales.[12]

By 2007, cumulative sales were 30,000 units.[13] Critics pointed to Segway Inc's silence over its financial performance as an indication that the company is still not profitable, following expenditure of some US$100 million developing the Segway PT.[12]

In 2009 General Motors announced that it is building a prototype two-seat electric vehicle with Segway. An early prototype of the Personal Urban Mobility and Accessibility vehicle, dubbed Project P.U.M.A., was shown off in New York a day ahead of the press previews for the 2009 New York International Auto Show.[14][15] At Expo 2010 in Shanghai, the successor was presented, the "EN-V project".[16]

James Norrod served as the President and Chief Executive Officer of Segway Inc. from April 2005 to January 2010 and steered the sale of the company to a group led by British millionaire Jimi Heselden, chairman of Hesco Bastion in December 2009,[17] however the new owner died in 2010 while riding a Segway when he fell off a cliff.[18] Since the sale, Dean Kamen has no longer been involved with the company.

In February 2013 Summit Strategic Investments, LLC announced it had acquired the company, saying that it planned to refocus, grow its product portfolio and expand its worldwide network. In September 2014, Segway filed a complaint with the United States International Trade Commission about the infringement of several of its patents by several Chinese companies, including Ninebot, Shenzhen INMOTION Technologies and Robstep Robot.[19]

Subsidiary of NinebotEdit

On April 1, 2015, Segway was acquired by Ninebot Inc., a Beijing-based transportation robotics startup having raised $80M USD from Xiaomi and Sequoia Capital.[20]

In May 2016, it was announced that the Segway miniPRO, a smaller self-balancing scooter would be launched in June that year.[21]

ProductsEdit

As of July 2017:

Products branded 'Segway'
  • Segway i2 SE (professional self-balancing scooter for use in warehouses and other locations)[22]
  • Segway x2 SE (ruggedised self-balancing scooter for use on most challenging terrain)[23]
  • Segway SE 3 (three-wheeled standup motorized scooter for professional use)[24]
  • Segway Robot (autonomous robot based on the Segway miniPro)[25]
Products branded 'Ninebot by Segway'
  • Ninebot by Segway E+ (self-balancing scooter for general use)[26]
  • Ninebot by Segway miniPro (smaller self-balancing scooter for general use, controlled by a 'knee control bar')[27]
  • Ninebot by Segway One S2, (latest generation self-balancing unicycle)[28]
  • Ninebot by Segway One E+, (earlier model of self-balancing unicycle)[29]

See alsoEdit

  • Segway Fest, an annual convention of Segway PT users and enthusiasts
  • Segway polo, similar to polo, except that instead of playing on horseback, each player rides a Segway PT on the field

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b "Company Overview of Segway Inc". Bloomberg. 
  2. ^ US patent 5,701,965 Human transporter
  3. ^ "Segway Patent Information" (PDF). Segway Inc. 
  4. ^ "The iBOT". msu.edu. Retrieved 2 June 2016. 
  5. ^ Kemper, Steve. Code Name Ginger: The Story Behind Segway and Dean Kamen's Quest to Invent a New World. Harvard Business Press. p. 53. ISBN 9781578516735. 
  6. ^ Machrone, Bill (3 December 2001). "Ginger Unveiled-It's a Scooter!". Extremetech.com. Retrieved 11 March 2009. 
  7. ^ Sovich, Nina (April 1, 2004). "Segway Slump". CNN. Retrieved 2009-03-11. 
  8. ^ "Segway sales fall far short - ZDNet.co.uk". News.zdnet.co.uk. September 29, 2003. Archived from the original on January 15, 2010. Retrieved 2009-03-11. 
  9. ^ a b "Segway Recalls All 23,500 Scooters Sold to Date". Retrieved 2009-08-04. [dead link]
  10. ^ "Segway recalls 23,500 scooters". CNN. September 14, 2006. Retrieved 2009-08-04. 
  11. ^ "Segway, GM roll out 'smart' vehicle". UnionLeader.com. April 8, 2009. Retrieved 2009-10-17. 
  12. ^ a b c Regan, Michael P. (May 30, 2006). "Segway sets course for stock market". USA Today. Retrieved 2009-03-11. 
  13. ^ a b Wil Schroter (July 9, 2007). "When To Dump That Great Idea". Forbes. Archived from the original on October 30, 2008. Retrieved 2009-03-11. 
  14. ^ Shepardson, David and Priddle, Alisa (7 April 2009). "GM to roll out two-seat, urban electric prototype". The Detroit News. Retrieved 7 April 2009. 
  15. ^ Terlep, Sharon (7 April 2009). "GM, Segway to Make Vehicle". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 7 April 2009. 
  16. ^ "The EN-V Project – Segway Advanced Development". Segway. Archived from the original on November 28, 2010. 
  17. ^ Hachman, Mark (January 18, 2010). "Segway Quietly Sold; Dealers Remain Optimistic - Reviews by PC Magazine". Pcmag.com. Retrieved 2010-01-29. 
  18. ^ "Segway boss Jimi Heselden dies in scooter cliff fall". BBC News. September 27, 2010. 
  19. ^ United States International Trade Commission: "Complaint of Segway Inc. and Deka Products Limited Partnership under Section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as Amended." 9 September 2014. Available on Segway's website Archived May 1, 2015, at the Wayback Machine..
  20. ^ Catherine Shu: "Beijing-based Ninebot Acquires Segway, Raises $80M From Xiaomi And Sequoia", 'TechCrunch', 15 April 2015.
  21. ^ "Segway pounces on hoverboard market". Boston Globe. 14 May 2016. 
  22. ^ "Segway I2 SE". Segway Inc. Retrieved 13 July 2017. 
  23. ^ "Segway x2 SE". Segway Inc. Retrieved 13 July 2017. 
  24. ^ "Segway SE 3". Segway Inc. Retrieved 13 July 2017. 
  25. ^ "Meet Loomo". Segway Robotics. Retrieved 13 July 2017. 
  26. ^ "Ninebot by Segway E+". Segway Inc. Retrieved 13 July 2017. 
  27. ^ "Segway miniPro". Segway Inc. Retrieved 13 July 2017. 
  28. ^ "Ninebot by Segway One S2". Segway Inc. Retrieved 13 July 2017. 
  29. ^ "Ninebot by Segway One E+". Segway Inc. Retrieved 13 July 2017. 

External linksEdit