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Segway? Big Deal...
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What Makes a Segway so Special to me?

The Segway is truely self balancing. If you can stand and walk, you can ride a Segway. You use the same "instincts" to ride a Segway as you do to walk forwards, backwards, turn, start and stop. Exactly the same. The only difference is that you do not move your feet. You let the Segway interpret your desires, and IT makes the moves. Quitely, powerfully, daintily and exactly as you want. But without the jarring, repetitive motion and energy expenditure or pain caused by normal human locomotion - in other words for me, it's like totally painless walking!!!

How does this magic work? It's not magic, it's just technology put to intelligent use. By now, you all know that the Segway has 3 sensors that record it's position, up to 100 times a second. These sensors are almost exactly the same to what new cell phones have in them to recognize motion to play games. The Segway just needs to know how to stay balanced in one position. That's all!

With the three sensors, and a person standing absolutely still, their center of gravity directly above the top of the Segway, it will not move. If the person leans back, their center of gravity shifts backwards too, and the sensors pick this up. The Segway, wanting to remain balanced and still, then moves itself backwards to try to get back under the center of gravity. If the person leans a wee bit forward until their balance is in the middle, the Segway will stop, happy that it is once again in balance. Lean forward a bit more now, and it will scoot forward to try to get back under the center of balance again. As the person remains leaning forward, the Segway remains in motion forward, still trying to get under the center of gravity. The more you lean, the faster it goes. Once it gets to top speed, trust me, it will let you know not to lean any further!

Now we throw in steering. In the new i2 models, the steering tiller is simply a "tilt" bar, and not a "twist" one as the first models had, so if a person leans to the right holding the control tiller, it too moves to the right, signalling the Segway to turn to the right. If the person stands straight up again, the Segway goes straight.

Now here is where the Segway shines! If, standing perfectly balanced on a Segway, the person leans to the right, the Segway will "spin" to the right, without moving forwards or backwards. It will turn within it's own radius, something even a wheelchair cannot do!

Simple eh? If the Segway is moving forward, and the person wants to stop, he just leans back a bit to throw the balance to the back - the Segway senses this and immediately tries to change the direction of travel. By controlling how much the person leans back and forth, they quickly learn how much is needed to start and stop a Segway in any direction. It's all natural movement.

Try to take a step without leaning forward in the lest bit. You cannot! It's impossible. Walking is a continuous motion of controlled falling. Running? Notice how much more they are leaning forward? Just like leaning forward on a Segway. Even notice a person stopping quickly? Are they leaning back a wee bit? Just like on a Segway. But the Segway is faster, reacts faster, at 100 times a second faster!

That is what makes a Segway so Special to me!

 

 


Why am I doing this?

In the beginning while I was still working, my wife and I would fly to visit her family, and you would have found me standing at the back of the airplane, enjoying a glass of water and reading an ebook, as this was and still is the most comfortable position for me to travel while on an airplane – I have less attacks (or breakthru's) and arrive in better condition than if I was to be in my seat for the whole flight. If so, then you would then have to pour me out of the airplane onto a stretcher! I am much more comfortable standing than sitting, and actually this has a medical reason.

The human body “operates” more efficiently while in the standing position than in the sitting position. Internal organs, while having muscles to do most of the work, also appreciate a “gravity” assist. Our muscles and organs are arranged in a manner to take advantage of being upright, rather than seated, and our circulatory system operates more efficiently while standing. There are several studies that confirm that patients recover from ANY operation faster if they get back onto their feet and move round, rather than lay in a bed for any length of time. Recovery times have been reduced by as much as 80% simply by being Vertical and not seated or laying down. For what appears to be this same reason, my pain is less severe, and my attacks less common, when I am standing or laying flat. Of course, there is no logical way for me to travel any distance laying flat on my back, and being seated for any length of time is simply an invitation to an attack. So Standing it is!

About 2 years ago, I got the chance to ride a Segway for the first time. Not only was it fun, and I'll be the first to admit that, but I was able to move from one location to another virtually pain-free! I literally had tears in my eyes that there was a way for me to get around outside of the home that did not involve the painful act of getting in and out of my car, sitting in a car seat in an uncomfortable position, further exacerbated by road bumps, potholes, braking and accelleration that are part of any car ride.

As a test, I rode a borrowed Segway PMD for 3 whole days straight during a local Trade Show. Not only was I able to get around in very large crowds in comfort and safety, but I was also in much less pain at the end of the day because of the lower impact on my leg , pelvic or lower back nerves that are part of my disability.

Not only was I able to remain standing for 3 days on a Segway, but this was in two very crowded Trade Show halls, with children running around, milling crowds, vendors, entertainers and our Show Committee trying to keep things running smoothly. Even handicapped, I was the most "active" member of the committee, able to continually move about the show, easily visible, standing on average 7" higher than the crowd, able to make minute adjustments to my position, path of travel, carry small cargo and not once come into contact with any of the crowd! Even if I had inadvertantly run over some show attendee's foot, the Segway's low-pressure tires are specifically designed to cause no injury when running over the toes or fingers of another person.

Safe? You Betcha! 1/3 the space of a wheelchair, 4x the agility of a wheelchair, 10x the visibility of a wheelchair, and no pain! Of course, I had to sit down at times just to give my poor feet a break from standing for extended periods, but these were mere coffee breaks, times for me to be at our Show Booth to answer questions by vendors and show attendees. After this Show, I was totally converted to the Segway machine and what it could do for me as a disabled adult. I just cannot understand the stance the government is taking on the Segway. Many people are also opposed to the Segway, but again, I just do not know why?

Here are some other interesting tid-bits about the Segway and Electric Wheelchairs:

Segway Footprint (space required to just sit there looking pretty) - 19" x 25"

ADAAG Wheelchair Footprint - 30" x 48"

Palmer Industries Scooter Footprint - 36" x 72"

Bounder and OmegaTrac electric Wheelchairs can reach speeds of 12.2 and 12 mph! Both weigh in access of 400lbs empty!

 

Donate $1 today. Donate $10, $100, $1,000 today. It's a free country, it's your choice! You can make a difference!

Help me attain my goal of Cdn $9,000 to purchase a Segway and grant me the freedom to leave my house and move around my town without needing assistance from anybody. Donate as much, or as little as you wish.

Every $1 counts in my quest to break free of my independence prison!

My Segway

My Dream Segway PT x2 Adventure
Accessories include:
Parking Stand || Comfort Mats || Segway Hard Side Cases
Segway Reflectivity || LED Taillight || Segway Lock Kit
Infokey Controller Skin || Off-Board Charger

120 lbs - 54Kg
Offroad Range: 12 miles - 19 Km
Max carrying wt: 300lbs - 136Kg

 

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Segway? Big Deal. There's nothing special about how they help handicapped people, is there?

Well, actually, it IS a big deal how they help handicapped people!

The Segs4Vets program was started to honor the unique contributions of the disabled American veterans to all people with disabilities in the United States. Disabled veterans from World War II, the Korean War, Vietnam and every conflict subsequent to that have changed the face of America  and the perception of society regarding people with disabilities.

DRAFT in 2006  became the first organization, ever, to receive a blanket waiver from the United States military for our Segs4Vets program allowing a gift in excess of $1,000 to severely injured active duty members of the United States military who have served in Operation Iraqi Freedom or Operation Enduring Freedom.  The Segs4Vets Program has awarded more than 250 Segways through 2008.

This spring, DRAFT plans on awarding over 120 Segways to disabled Veterans, all in a single ceremony!!!

Of Course, In Canada,

we have no such support!

Do you want to learn more about why I want a Segway? Go to my final page if you have not yet donated to my fund, to find out just WHY I am doing this.

Some people think "Big Deal!". For me, it IS a big deal, and I have borrowed some well thought out information from DRAFT in the US, something Veterans Affairs Canada should look seriously into for OUR veterans.

Click on the Segway logo to go to my "Big Deal" page!

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Palmer Industries "Scooter"
---225lbs, 13mph-21kph---
Starting at USD $5,000

 Wrangler PMVLogo

Wrangler PMV 600
10mph - 16kph
Starting @ $3,999
Sidewalk only

 Omega Trac

Teftec OmegaTrac
400lbs, 12mph-20kph
All-Terrain
USD $18,895 ea

 Omega Trac

Bounder Bariatric Wheelchair
Carry up to 1,000lbs-450Kg
21"-48" wide seats,
11.6mph-19kph
Starting at USD $10,500

 

 

 

 
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