Is there any geekier mode of transportation than the Segway Human Transporter? It was supposed to change the way we commute to and fro, but it turned out to be a novelty item used most notoriously by eccentrics like Steve Wozniak.
But like all things people are passionate about, some fans are inclined to tweak and put their own spin on the Segway. Here are thirteen Segway mods that are just crazy enough to be real. (And don’t read that the wrong way — all of these are the genuine article.)
Apple Computer Segway
Big Wheels Segway
Sometimes 12.5 miles an hour — the standard Segway’s maximum speed — just isn’t fast enough. This guy traded out the standard 19″ wheels for a pair of 36″ bicycle spokes. The result, thanks to the physics of bigger wheels having more area to spin, is a Segway that the owner managed to get up to 20.5 mph, but estimates could max out at 24 mph. But don’t try this at home — he says himself that this is an admittedly “dangerous” modification that could cause serious injury or even death. [Source]
Okay, so it’s not really a Segway. But it works using the same lean-to-move gyroscopic technology that the Segway does, so pundits have dubbed it the “Flying Segway.” In reality, it’s called the “Vertipod,” and it hovers up to fifteen feet above the ground. It’s still in an experimental phase, but Air Buoyant, the company that’s manufacturing the device, expects to make them available to buy eventually. [Source]
Homebrew Segway #1
This homemade Segway was built by one enterprising builder who cobbled it together out of “leftover crap around the house.” No idea how well it handles, but I’m guessing it cost a lot less than buying the real thing. [Source]
Homebrew Segway #2 – Student Project
Daniel Fukuba, graduate of Palo Alto High School, built his own Segway, but says it actually cost him more to build one rather than buy one. He’s even started a website to help people better learn how to build a balancing scooter of their very own. [Source]
Hot Rod Segway
Segway of Oakland tricked out this custom job in the style of a classic muscle car. [Source]
Similar to the Apple model above, this one’s been rigged with its own protective metal “skirt” and a generously-sized HDTV, to display advertising messages.
“Legway” Steampunk Segway
You’ve got to have strong legs — not to mention mad balancing skill — to operate this steampunk Segway. This old-school design has no electronic mechanisms at all. It’s one hundred percent human powered. Hence the name. [Source]
Just for the heck of it, this Segway enthusiast added extra wheels, making it look more like an ATV than a Segway.
A few years ago, Nintendo famously added a virtual Segway to one of its Wii Fit titles — the fitness games that use the Balance Board that you stand on. This ain’t that. Instead, this trade show model featured an onboard display to show off the latest Wii titles. I know many a Nintendo fan who’d trade their firstborn for it. [Source]
Got no details on this one, but the picture album it’s a part of indicates that it was used in a parade. What’s with the Barbie down near the bottom? Is it supposed to be Tinkerbell, you think? [Source]
A real Segway prototype ATV, this “SegVator SegTrax” is a trade off in power and distance for being able to traverse surfaces that other Segways dare not attempt. Its speed tops out at around 8 mph, and the standard charge is cut in half. [Source]
Inspired by the aesthetic of Tron: Legacy, Ricky Brigante put this fully-functioning twist on his own Segway. Brigante himself admits that he “managed to add even more nerdiness to an already ultra-nerdy mode of transportation,” but you’ve got to admit… It’s pretty sweet. [Source]