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Segway Human Transporter

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Could there be a transportation machine that has no emissions whatsoever? Could this contraption go great distances without a doubt? Could it stay balanced on two wheels with you on it? What is it? Actually, it is an "It". The "It", or more formally known as the Segway Human Transporter is a vehicle that is said by some to "change the way we live." With so much hype, this machine of the future has high expectations from not only the public but to many environmental activists as well. I believe that the Segway HT is a benchmark in today's new technological advances. With the threat of pollution throughout the world, this machine could be a big part of the solution.

I have always been extremely interested in how things work. Whatever it may be, I am always trying to figure it out, and I am usually able to. After first reading about the "It" in Maxim magazine, I was amazed that it could not be tipped over, so amazed that doubts it even existed popped into my mind. When the Human Transporter came onto the news several months later for the first time, I immediately surfed the internet trying to find pictures, videos, and an explanation to how it works. Coming up with bundles of information, I read that it was able to run on batteries and not gas. This furthered my interest because I am also concerned about the present and future condition of the earth that we live on.

As pollution from cars, trucks, and other types of vehicles enter our air, they not only deplete our protection from the sun but deplete the fresh air that animals and we humans breath everyday. With this knowledge, Dean Kamen decided to make the "It" battery operated, but not with normal batteries. The batteries in his machine are Nickel Metal Hydride. With one charge these batteries can push the Transporter up to seventeen miles. Even in rain and snow it keeps one upright with no worry about the units circuitry that is sealed underneath the standing platform. This could mean that people living in cities could ride to work instead of dealing with smog producing taxis, buses, and mopeds. Traffic would no longer be problem if one could go up to 12.5 mph without fear of falling off.

One of the most fascinating things that the scooter has to offer is its ability to not tip over. Kenneth Terrell writes that "the machine balances itself and the one standing on through five internal gyroscopes that measure and correct the body's center of gravity at over one hundred times a second" (54). Even in the rain or snow the machine rides well without slipping. Just by leaning forward the "It" moves with you. Acting as your body's own balancing system, it senses ones every action and compensates for the slightest of movement. With all these key features, the machine would seem to be the biggest of hits amongst consumers. Selling for around three thousand dollars, the Segway Human Transporter is said to be available in late 2002.

Awaiting its arrival, some have mixed feelings on this subject. Some say it is not a big deal, and that it is no bigger than any other craze. In an article



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