No longer just a scooter, new Segway is voice-controlled personal robot
Mika Ascalson rides a Segway MiniPRO at CES International, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2016, in Las Vegas. (Gregory Bull / AP Photo)
Kimberly Pierceall, The Associated Press
Published Thursday, January 7, 2016 12:01PM EST
Segway wants its next scooter to scoot to you.
The company, which pioneered the notion of zooming about town perched on two wheels long before the "hoverboard" craze, showed off a motorized scooter equipped with a pair of blinking eyes. Powered by Android, the scooter should be able to see you and its surroundings even in the dark -- while filming everything.
Which should be helpful when it acts as a personal robot. The company demonstrated Wednesday how the scooter can respond to voice commands while following closely behind you, recording video as it goes. Or you can send it off on its own path, avoiding obstacles along the way.
The company says its robot will travel more than 18 miles on a single charge at a speed of up to 11 miles per hour and weigh a little more than 30 pounds. Segway, which is working with Intel on the project, expects its prototype to be a reality by early 2017, perhaps just in time for the next CES.
Intel CEO Brian Krzanich says the robot could have industrial and commercial uses, including carrying home groceries home from a supermarket run.