Saturday, July 20, 2024

S-Pod, Segway’s self-balancing electric personal transporter

Segway-Ninebot is preparing to present its latest bets on mobility in and out of town at CES 2020. The company will take advantage of the international consumer electronics fair to introduce a new transportation concept that will surely steal the eyes: it is called “Segway S-Pod” and is an electric chair with self-balancing for personal transport. Any resemblance to the “floating chairs” of the WALL-E universe is a mere coincidence.

The S-Pod is a kind of self-balancing electric mobile capsule intended for use in spaces such as airports, theme parks, or shopping centers. Unlike, for example, the original Segway scooter model, the user does not need to lean forward to make the vehicle move faster. The driver simply needs to control an integrated joystick to adjust the speed and direction of the S-Pod.

Its top speed of up to 24 mph (38 km/h) would certainly not be ideal for escaping dinosaur clutches, but it is still twice what scooters can. The S-Pod is very fast, and its range is also quite considerable, up to 70 km with a load. The slope that the new Segway S-Pod product can reach is 10 degrees.

Passenger can easily adjust the speed with an adaptive center-of-gravity automatic control system. Inspired by the “Gyrospheres” of the latest Jurassic Park films, the S-Pod spins and rotates by the center smoothly for directional changes. The self-balancing wheelchair has no cover, allowing the user to enjoy the fresh air. As for the vehicle falling over when braking hard, the Segway-Ninebot promises that it is almost impossible.

There are also three additional wheels, one front and two rear, which will support the chair when it is turned off or move it without using the main wheels. According to Segway, technology will keep the chair always stable, and the two-wheel system allows quick changes of direction even when the chair is stationary.

The company indicates in a press release that a consumer S-Pod version could arrive in 2021, although it does not disclose details about its possible price, something that could be “under the table” at CES 2020. It also promises to launch other products at CES, but all quite conventional, none of them seemed as interesting as S-Pod.