back to article Segway + motorbike = futuristic dorkmobile

Just when you thought that the Segway "self-balancing personal transportation device" concept had finally had a stake driven firmly through its überdorky heart, it's baaaack. But now you have a place to sit, and not be forced to stand up as must a Segway-mounted policeman, paramedic, or polo player. Taurus concept vehicle …

COMMENTS

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  1. Eddy Ito
    WTF?

    Mess with the Seg

    And you'll get the... horns?

  2. dr2chase

    To be fair, even bicycles and walking use energy

    Human-power transit burns (a few) calories, and food calories are also not free. Best case is eating plants, but the effective mpg is still somewhere between 300 and 1000 miles per "gallon". Worst case (using steak for fuel) is about as bad as an SUV, or so I understand.

    Electric-powered gadgets can do pretty well, if supplied with green-sourced electricity.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      FAIL

      What?

      Thats just bad science.

    2. Allan George Dyer Silver badge
      Pirate

      and even SUVs need drivers...

      Any sources for your understanding? A few rough calculations with the Harris-Benedict equation gives me over 400"mpg" for waling assuming a Basal Metabolic Rate of 2200kcal/day and fuel containing 31,548 kcal/gallon. It gets even better if you calculate the mpg based on the increase in metabolic rate due to exercise - after all, you don't kill the human when you replace the walker with a segway or car.

      Of course, other factors some into play - how fast do you want to get there? what are the greenhouse gas emissions from the "fuel" production? (that's where using steak for fuel looks bad - months of cows farting to produce your meal) and so on...

      Icon - environmentally-friendly SUV driver.

    3. Bruce MacDonald

      Zero emissions

      Depends what your source of energy is: coal and nuclear stations can't ramp-up and ramp-down overnight when there is less demand (if they heat up or cool down too fast pipes will buckle and bend) so overnight when there is much less demand, they are still spinning away at full power. Use some of this unused power to charge your electric car/bike and I think you can safely say you're zero emissions.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "If"

      Big word, that.

  3. Jolyon Smith
    Coat

    From the typewriter of Glen A Larson...

    STREET-DORK

    1. seanj
      Coffee/keyboard

      Street Dork...

      Fantastic...

      You've now tipped me over the edge and am now ordering the DVD set of that 80's series from Amazon. I hope you're proud of yourself!

  4. sT0rNG b4R3 duRiD
    WTF?

    how is this...

    better than a bike?

    (be that a push bike, scooter, motorbike, electric or otherwise...)

  5. Wibble
    Boffin

    Missing helmet

    One would think that she's missing a full-face helmet, gloves and decent leathers. All for a maximum of 15MPH. Ooh.

    There's a reason for putting wheels in-line. Breaking is a pretty good one. Stability's another.

    1. John Robson Silver badge
      Boffin

      Argh

      That'd be BRAKING.

      Breaking is what you do when you fail to brake!

      And stability is easier with wheels side by side - a bike is naturally unstable - in motion you can make continuous corrections which keep you upright, but if you watch carefully you'll never go in a straight line (the back wheel never rolls along the front wheel track).

      At least this has instability in the direction it can control (forwards & backwards)

      1. DZ-Jay

        Re: Argh

        Not quite. In-line wheels offers gyroscopic vertical stability and, as suggested by a different poster, a stable center of gravity that aids in absorbing forward momentum during brea^H^H^H^Hbraking.

        I suspect that the amount of force required to maintain a vertical attitude while braking on the Taurus is going to be substantial, unless it has a trivial maximum speed like the Segway. And then, you must trust absolutely that the computer will compensate accurately during such event.

        In the Segway at least you are standing up, giving you a chance to position yourself for a fall, were the device to fail to respond appropriately--good luck hitting the pavement with anything but your face if ever your Taurus fails similarly!

        -dZ.

    2. Stoneshop Silver badge
      Headmaster

      So, what do you want to break?

      Stuff that you failed to brake in time for?

    3. TeeCee Gold badge
      Headmaster

      Breaking?

      It's "Braking" FFS!

      Second on my pet hate list that, after arsehats who don't pronounce "Nuclear" correctly.

  6. Neoc
    Happy

    Ride-backs

    Why does this look to me like a ride-back? Fake arms, a flame paint-job and we have a Fuego here. ^_^

    http://anidb.net/perl-bin/animedb.pl?show=anime&aid=6235

  7. Winkypop Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    Hey!

    Just like Segway 1.0, I wouldn't buy one of those....

  8. Herby

    What's wrong with bipedal locomotion?

    Nice and clean, no equipment required and everyone can do it.

    Why waste the $$$ on something that takes longer to get dressed for than you will use it? Silly to me!

    1. The BigYin

      @What's wrong with bipedal locomotion?

      "and everyone can do it."

      You sure about that?

      The Segway looks fun 'n all and the self-balancing tech is definitely cool. I can (maybe) see a use in warehouse etc, if it is more efficient than a buggy...but everywhere else? Don't see it. For those who can walk...get a good pair of shoes/boots and walk!

      What is this Segbike like under hard braking? Think I stick to wheels front 'n rear ta muchly. Might interest the NABD though!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Stop

      Not me.

      I lost my legs in a car accident, you insensitive twat.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Stop

      Not everyone

      I can't, but then I do have a dodgy knee.

      You sir have discriminated against your less mobile counterparts, I demand recompense!

    4. Stoneshop Silver badge
      Flame

      Get dressed for?

      If you mean this thing, I don't see much need for protective clothing given its maximum speed, almost matching that of the lowest class of mopeds here (which don't require a helmet).

      If you mean dressing up for a motorbike ride, that time is more than compensated for by the time gained over your caged lemming cow-orkers, who feel the need to use motorways as parking places.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Flame

      Everyone can do it

      "everyone can do it?" Oh rly? What about those of us who have a disability and can't, or find it very difficult? Are we not part of 'everyone' - or do you exclude us from the human race? In the same way that certain people (Jews, handicapped people, Gipsys to name a few) were classed as not people by a famous regime in the 1930s and 1940s.

      Think again.

      1. BorkedAgain
        Troll

        Um.

        Golly. Think you may have over-reacted there a little? Okay, the previous poster made a bit of a rash generalisation. Insensitive, perhaps. By all means join the swelling ranks of people telling him off for that. But comparing the situation to the extermination of millions of innocent people in the early 20th century is (a) a bit silly and (b) a LOT insulting to the innocent people who were exterminated in the early 20th century.

        Unless there was an extermination subtext in the original post that I missed, in which case fair do's. Flame on.

        (or were you joking? If you were, then kudos to you. You came across as so sincere in your outrage, and you sure fooled me...)

        1. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

          Re: Um.

          Yes, good. Let this be the last word on that particular bit of this subject.

          1. A. Coatsworth
            Thumb Down

            Thank you, ma'am

            Thanks for putting an end to that nonsense

            Never thought the PC patrol would find us here at El Reg...

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Pint

      You insensitive clod

      You post is insulting to invalids, paraplegics and disgustingly obese gits.

      Go drown yourself.

      In beer obviously. It is Friday.

      1. Andy ORourke
        Joke

        Don't forget old people

        The very trendiest old people obviously!

    7. Anonymous Coward
      Unhappy

      Er.. not EVERYONE...

      You might be amazed how many (millions) of people out here just don't have shank's pony available as a means of transport. A mile to the shops means a car - assuming white van man isn't in the disabled parking space when we get there. Yes there are electric buggies, but they don't suit everyone, don't suit every kind of journey, and they're not that cheap either.

      I don't see this particular device as any answer for those with mobility problems, but at least such developments are an encouraging vision of a possibility of 'real' transport that doesn't involve a car for short journeys. But every time a promising light vehicle appears, it's either ludicrously expensive, hugely impractical or it's a concept vehicle that never appears in production.

      But we all live in hope...

    8. Anonymous Coward
      Unhappy

      Oh Dear

      "What's wrong with bipedal locomotion?"

      "Nice and clean, no equipment required and everyone can do it"

      Bit of a sweeping statement that isn't it? Everyone can walk? Everyone?

      Maybe useful to some people who are unable to walk but dont want to sit in a wheelchair all day?

  9. Hayden Clark Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    It's huge

    Too big for most car boots. Looks like it's bulkier than a bicycle as well, with the side-by-side wheels.

  10. Paul 4
    Thumb Down

    Humm...

    For half the price (asuming it dosent cost any more than the segway) you could get a CG125 that will last longer, go faster, carry more and look alot less silly. Hell, you could get something realy good, like a 1 year old Monster or a two year old Blade.

  11. Elmer Phud
    FAIL

    Plenty of Seat Space

    You need a big, fat arse to fit that thing.

    Oh, it's a marketing plus?

    "I've gone green, I've bought a Taurus so I can get to MacDriveThru for thier 'buy one get ten free' offer.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    Biased?

    > Interestingly, although the Taurus - and, for that matter, its ancestral Segway - are being touted as zero-emissions vehicles, no electrically motivated people-mover will ever be truly "zero-emissions" until power plants stop burning coal, oil, or natural gas.

    Not at all a biased point of view then? Does this 'vehicle', or more to the point, any electric vehicle have any emissions? No, they do not. I don't know how else you'd describe 'Zero-emissions', as by your definition nothing can possibly be, as everything will have a emission cost when it comes to manufacture.

    When it comes to electric vehicles, what is wrong with moving the power generation away from the populace and in a way which can use a multitude of sources? Plug your car in over night and make use of cheep electricity. It also means our streets are less polluted with fumes and noise. Might not be best suited for everyone, but for a good percentage it would!

    1. Martin Gregorie
      Flame

      Dumping it somewhere else, eh?

      "When it comes to electric vehicles, what is wrong with moving the power generation away from the populace and in a way which can use a multitude of sources?"

      I'm sorry to see that NIMBYism is still alive and well. So you think pollution is fine as long as you don't see or smell it? No wonder you're anonymous, you selfish bastard.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Dead Vulture

      These environmental champions?

      El Reg biased against anything with a hint of green? Don't you know it's based at the IT department of the Daily Mail?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        FAIL

        Yeah, somewhere else.

        > I'm sorry to see that NIMBYism is still alive and well. So you think pollution is fine as long as you don't see or smell it? No wonder you're anonymous, you selfish bastard.

        So you're saying you like all the traffic pollution then? So you'd rather the fumes and noise than using a gas\nuclear\random 'renewable' power station? Hell how much would extra would our coal stations have to work for an overnight charge of EV vehicles?

        Personally I'd like to see more 'local' generation, like the Danes, so NIMBYism this isn't. Its all about having a nicer place to live.

        As for a significant percentage, how many people just drive to their office and back every day? Or to school, the shops and back. I'd wager a great deal that the majority of people in the UK do not drive more than 50miles per day, so apart from cost or purchase, why not have a 'leaf' or whatever as 1 car in your 2 car garage?? (Just because YOU drive more, doesn't mean the majority do not!!)

      2. Stoneshop Silver badge
        Flame

        Stationary power plants

        can have their waste heat harnessed and used, significantly improving their efficiency, something you'll find spectacularly difficult with a moving vehicle. Even capturing the CO2 itself is being considered, with pilot tests being run. And I'd rather have a a single power plant being maintained by its team of engineers and technicians (and you can build it right in my neighbourhood, if you feel the need), instead of the multitude of cars it's equivalent to, being kept at whatever maintenance level their owners feel necessary.

    3. JP Strauss
      Megaphone

      LOLWUT

      You sir, are an ignoramus!

      Also, I would LOVE to see what your definition of "significant percentage" is.

  13. Dances With Sheep
    Thumb Up

    Cool

    Looks like a fanny magnet to me.....

    Anyone remember the strip in Viz where Sid the Sexist buys a moped & rides to a bikers pub to try and pull ?

    1. TeeCee Gold badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Viz.

      No. The Fanny Magnet is the "Satsuma Castanet XR4 Turbo" I think you'll find....

  14. JimC

    You don't steer a bike by leaning...

    You steer it by an almost infinitesimal movement of the handlebars in the opposite direction...

    1. multipharious

      Never thought of this

      I have done 175,000 miles on a motorcycle, and plenty on bicycles. I am having to re-do my license here in Germany, and in the courses that I am forced to endure they pointed this tidbit out. I honestly never even thought about it. The handlebars are just something I hold onto for stability, and don't exert any directional pressure except at very low speeds. Now unfortunately on my cycle rides, I am paying attention trying to notice it, but cannot. Just seems to me like something I did not ever need to know.

    2. Stoneshop Silver badge
      FAIL

      Yeah, and what happens then?

      The wheels move out from underneath the center of gravity, making the bike want to fall inward into the curve. So you DO steer a bike by leaning, it's just that you usually don't initiate it by flopping your arse around.

      Pay attention to what happens, especially on a motorbike.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Well I think...

    ... it looks cool.

    Don't know about the practicalities, but it looks a lot of fun if not a little scary to ride.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Unhappy

    One worrying thing

    Lean to far forward and one nasty face plant.

  17. John Savard

    With Present Technology

    electrical power plants can stop using oil, coal, and natural gas. Hence, they should do so.

    But vehicles that require people to balance them in order to operate are simply silly when an extra wheel is so much safer and more accessible.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    And all....

    ...for a price you could buy a small car for?

    Environmental concerns (which electric vehicles don't really address anyway) will never be realised until stuff like this is seriously affordable and not just another expensive geek purchase.

  19. xyz

    How small is that woman....

    .....or how big a lard a$$ is it designed for? Looks like it could take 1 well fed American or 3 generations of a Vietnamese family

  20. Captain TickTock
    Paris Hilton

    New catchphrase/caption -

    "Segway Taurus - and friend"

    Paris, cos she's the nearest we have to our EeePc friend in an icon.

  21. TeeCee Gold badge
    WTF?

    That's not a bike!

    It's a two-wheeled, ride-on torch.

    Seems a little impractical when you're trying to find the bit off the end of the thingy that came unscrewed and rolled under the sofa in the dark though.....

  22. Mr Larrington
    FAIL

    Well...

    At least you can sit down on this version. On the other hand, you can also sit down on a moped, which is half the price, twice as fast and doesn't require the services of Lembit Opik to dick around highlighting its dubious legality.

  23. 0laf
    Gates Horns

    Close

    Get one big wheel on the back and pump the speed to abut 175mph and I'll start to get interested.

  24. Sordid Details
    Grenade

    ALERT: this post contains pendantry

    You don't steer a motorcycle by leaning off it. A motorcycle is steered by rider pressure on the handlebars (known as countering steering) causes the bike to lean due to the precessional forces at work on the front wheel.

    After the Segway it was only a matter of time before some genius decided that even standing up was too much effort. Good name though. Taurus, bull...apt.

    1. Graham Marsden
      Boffin

      You can't counter-steer it...

      ... and you can't get your knee down either!!

    2. Stoneshop Silver badge
      Headmaster

      Pedantic pedantry pedanticized

      "You can steer the vehicle by leaning much as you do when steering a motorcycle"

      Did they mean *YOU* leaning off the motorbike, or leaning the motorbike? Because the latter is definitely how you tend to go around corners at speed (except offroad or with a sidecar rig).

    3. CADmonkey

      ALERT: this post also contains pendantry

      "You don't steer a motorcycle by leaning off it"

      ...except you do, most of the time. The centre of gravity of the rider's body is what controls the bike. That, and the tyre profile. Counter steering is an optional, supplemental technique that exagerates the shift in COG by forcing the tyre profile into a sharper lean. So there. :p

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Nonnymouse...

    Looks like something you might be able to find on some of the more, ummm, interestingly adult websites. I wonder if it comes in a sybian edition?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Unhappy

      Oh.....

      Damn! You beat me to it!

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Grenade

    I see it already has mounting locations for weaponry

    obviously twin chain guns would be the optimum choice for pedestrian devastation, but just watch someone fit it up with nerf guns and smoke grenades

  27. Cody

    Obviously what is needed is a trike

    Obvious from these photos, as from the Segway, what you need is a third wheel, and a trike. All the energy being spent on balancing could then go to locomotion. Improve load capacity as well.

  28. Graham Bartlett

    Appropriate name, given the Ford version

    The Ford Taurus. Bloated, slow, badly-engineered, too heavy for its underperforming engine, ineffective brakes caused by crap suspension design, and needed refuelling every hour. Oh, and designed for Yanks.

    So pretty much what we've got here, except for the top speed and the number of passengers.

  29. Daren Nestor
    Welcome

    Hmmmm

    The front of iit makes it look suspiciously like a wheeled Geth Armature (Mass Effect). I for one, etc...

  30. Chris Green
    Grenade

    On current roads it'd be fun (not)

    At 15mph, every pot hole you hit will tip you sideways, unless you are lucky enough to live where roads are flat, or pot holes are wide with nicely ramped sides.

    On a push bike, you need just a inch of flat to work with and on a motorbike, two/three inches will do. On both these, you do have to take into account where the rear wheel will go, but that's pretty easy to get spot-on or at least close enough and anyway, dropping the rear wheel in a hole is not the end on the world on inline wheels.

    However, with this beast...how'd you like to be tipped sideways, into the path of that vehicle that just couldn't find the room to give you some fall over space?

  31. Torben Mogensen

    Braking?

    If you have to make a quick stop at a decent speed, it looks like you will fall flat on your nose. On a Segway, you can put a foot forward to stop the fall, but that doesn't seem practical on this monstrosity. Maybe it has a built-in airbag at the front of the seat?

    1. M man
      Go

      piston

      if you look theres a couple of pistons and a front leg, after maximun power is absorbed though braking the central column starts to lean forward the seat stays horozontal sending momentum though the pistons the the leg on the floor.

      I guess it doesnt reach a speed where max braking would result in either the pistons collepsing fully(knee grinding fun)

  32. Fractured Cell
    Thumb Down

    All i can see happening

    here is a series of nasty head injuries.

    As soon as the battery gives, so does the gyro, POW - faceplant.

    (Speaking from personal experience - even at 7mph onto grass, it hurts like ****)

    1. Buy Taurus

    2. Flat Battery

    3. Head injury

    4. ???

    5. Profit!

    1. Oz

      Completing the list

      "1. Buy Taurus

      2. Flat Battery

      3. Head injury

      4. ???

      5. Profit!"

      6. Class law suit

      7. Bankruptcy

  33. Chris M
    Joke

    I've seen this before.....

    Did Mr Garrison's idea finally make it to production? It seems so.

  34. AndyG_IOM
    Go

    I dont know why. . .

    . . but i really really want one !!!!!

  35. Daedalus
    Happy

    Vroom Vroom!

    It really needs go-faster stripes and a salesman wearing wellies and a deerstalker hat. And accompanied by an Olde English Sheepdog.

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Yes, i'd like to ride what's in the picture

    But I'm a bit worried about that prong sticking out beneath. It just looks all wrong.

  37. Timo

    Pretentious hit on the way

    As long as they make it really f-ing expensive all of the pretentious people with no personalities will buy one. Even more will long for it if they somehow work the price into the name of it. LOOK HOW MUCH I PAID FOR THIS BROKEN TRICYCLE!!! Doesn't it make me cool????

    Then they can fashion some smug group around the "trike$20k" where they can all get together and congratulate each other on how cool they may be.

    1. Lionel Baden

      your right

      just call it a iTaurus and lots of people are bound to buy it ..

  38. Oninoshiko

    does anyone else think she looks

    very uncomfertable?

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Joke

    Passive stability...

    If you've seen the stability equations for suspension-equipped motorcycles alone, you would be stunned. The thing has derivative equations on 4th degree to determine its stabilty (in short, it is a scary math even to describe it), including suspension's lunge forward effects when you brake and so forth. It is so bad, that no self-driven motorcycle exists, because the computing power required to solve it in real-time can´t be carried in it (yet). But, every human that ever learned how to ride a bike can solve these equations with their hips, hands, knees, and back, quite literally. No, really, people design different motorcycles for racing every year, because no one ever found the perfect and ultimate solution for those. Ducati and Honda every now and then (and some independent racers/builders too) have a glimpse of the solution, but no.

    Now take off one wheel and redo all the equations. It is bound to cause severe injury to the untrained ass (pun intended) that tries to ride it. I bet you can´t park that thing in San Francisco and turn the gyros off., without laying it flat on the ground.

    Even a regular bike would have a hard time parking on a street like those found in SF, I guess.

    Feel free to correct me if the equations part is wrong, for my memory is loose and lost the front wheel (exactly what this thing looks like near a real bike).

  40. Troy Starkey
    Thumb Down

    Lame!

    FFS, What's wrong with the god damn pushbike? If I wanted an electric way to travel around I would buy a YIKEBIKE (http://www.yikebike.com/), not this pile of crap. At least the Yike looks a bit like a bike.

    But since I can't justify spending $5K on an electric bicycle, I'll pedal away on my $300 Kmart special :)

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