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Segway-inspired Toyota Winglet begins testing in Japan [video]

Tops out at 3.5 mph (6 km/h)

Japan's love affair with wacky mobility concepts continues as Toyota has begun public testing of the Winglet mobility assistance robot.

Essentially a less exciting Segway, the Winglet is described as a "lightweight two-wheeled machine that is ridden in a standing position and maneuvered using a long, vertical T-bar handle." It is powered by a lithium-ion battery which enables the model to travel up to six miles (10km) at speeds reaching 3.5 mph (6 km/h). When the battery is depleted, it can be fully recharged in about an hour.

The model will be tested in Tsukuba, Japan for the next three years to assess the Winglet's "safety, convenience and practicality." It will be used by 80 people who work for the city or the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology.

Source: Toyota

TOYOTA WINGLET TAKES TO THE STREETS

  • First public trials of Toyota’s Winglet mobility assistance robot
  • Three-year programme launched in Tsukuba, a science and environment city in Japan
  • Winglet will be assessed for safety, convenience, practicality and public reaction
  • Zero-emissions thanks to lithium-ion battery power
  • Range of up to six miles, maximum speed 3.5mph

Winglet will be tested on the city’s pavements to assess its safety and practicality for moving among pedestrians. The trial will continue until March 2016, with the emphasis in the first year being safety and from 2014 on functionality, convenience and prospective public demand.

It will be used by 80 local authority workers and employees of the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology in a part of the city that has been hosting mobility robot test programmes since 2011.

Toyota first presented Winglet in 2008. It is a compact, lightweight two-wheeled machine that is ridden in a standing position and manoeuvred using a long, vertical T-bar handle. The handle is adjustable, so people of all heights can use the machine. When not in use, Winglet can simply be folded up and carried.

Winglet is powered by a lithium-ion battery and has a range of about six miles (10km) on a full charge. Top speed is around 3.5mph (6km/h), and battery charging takes an hour. Performance is emissions-free, so Winglet is also suitable for use in some indoor environments, for example in airports or office complexes.

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Comments (5)

 RaulLeal RaulLeal
"Essentially a less exciting Segway" , i really hate the assumption of the news writer... how can you say that? do you ever try that device? Toyota should sue you for denigration. many people says that Toyota's are bad, and boring etc, when they probably never drive one! same on you!
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July 25, 2013 6:45 am
 NYyanks NYyanks
The segway was an epic failure, what makes Toyota think this would be successful?
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July 24, 2013 6:33 pm
 mechamynd mechamynd
inspired? i dont see inspiration.
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July 24, 2013 5:10 pm