PMP-2: Japan's Mini-Segway Competitor

It's just a couple wheels and a small, self-balancing platform with a top speed of 4.5 mph and a range of 6 miles...

Published: 19-Oct-2004

Japan’s National Institute of Advanced Science and Technology has come up with a take on the Segway concept that’s unlikely to encourage the Japanese government to allow standup two-wheelers on its roads. The PMP-2 loses all that unnecessary bodywork and stuff in favour of a minimal platform-with-wheels design that doesn’t inspire much confidence to look at, though it apparently balances alright with a bit of practice (see video). Maximum range is about 6 miles, and the top speed with the current gear ratios is about 4.5mph—the imagined use is carrying it on the train and zipping from the station to your destination, though at 27-pounds it’s a bit of a hefty package to lug around. They’re apparently looking for a manufacturer to mass-produce these, though at a projected price of ¥100,000 ($1,100) the day when the streets are thronged with PMP-2s on Christmas morn could yet be a way off. Especially not when you apparently look rather constipated while riding it (at least the dude in the video did).  

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