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Sony to Compete With Segway?

 |  |  |  |  |  |  January 3, 2007

A recently filed patent application from Sony shows that they are working on a technology that is similar to that in the ubiquitous (and superfluous) Segway Human Transporter.

Sony Human Transporter

The patent abstract, titled “Vehicle steerable by movement of center of gravity” describes the invention as follows:

…a vehicle which can travel in the front and back direction and which can turn by right and left wheels rotated when a rider riding on a step-board moves the position of rider’s balance from the center of a vehicle base. A vehicle which can be steered based on movement of balance… it is possible for the rider to run the vehicle in the front and back direction and to turn the vehicle in the left and right direction by only moving rider’s weight.

What’s interesting is that the design might be applicable to other types of transport such as skateboards and roller skates with more than 2 wheels, versus the standing 2-wheel platform design of the Segway. Such a design could potentially open up a broader market for such transportation devices, assuming they could be produced at a lower cost than that of the Segway.

Keep in mind that that inventions are frequently submitted for patent, yet never produced, so I wouldn’t be sure that we’ll see any Sony transportation products out on the road any time soon.

[via NewScientistTech via gizmag]