How much do you know about the Segway PT ?
By Heather Tourgee
Feb 14 2017
The Segway PT | Up ClosePhoto Credit : Pioneer111/iStock
On any list of today’s most prolific inventors, Dean Kamen’s name would be slotted near the top: The Bedford, New Hampshire, resident is the brains behind such things as insulin pumps and all-terrain electric wheelchairs. He is also, for good or ill, the man who gave us the Segway PT, the self-balancing, battery-powered scooter that doubles as cutting-edge transportation and cultural punch line. After it debuted in 2001 with a $5,000 price tag, consumer sales flopped—as did some high-profile riders (President George W. Bush and Piers Morgan took tumbles early on; more seriously, in 2010 the company’s new owner, James Heselden, died after accidentally riding off a cliff). However, this so-called personal transporter found second life in police and private security fleets. Tour operators also recognized its potential, and these days more than 1 million Segway-mounted visitors can be seen puttering about cities worldwide—with helmets firmly fastened, of course.