Yesterday, on the rocky island of Tenerife, I did everything the Gods forbid on a gyroscope balanced, balance steered, and battery powered two wheeler. On a Segway X2 PT (personal transporter), I whirled through dust, over rocks, down stairs, blazed over sand and climbed steep hills. This machine can still do a lot more than I dare.
I met its inventor the denim-clad, easy laughing billionaire Dean Kamen multiple times in Austin. Kamen invented the iBot, a revolutionary all-terrain electric wheelchair using gyroscopes. It is also known as “Fred upstairs”, because it can climb stairs. He then lowered the rack price of the gyroscopes by building them into the self-balancing sports vehicle that became known as the Segway PT (code name Ginger). The Segway balances on two parallel wheels and is controlled by moving body weight.
But I wanted to share his TED speak “to invent is to give” and introduce you to one of the brightest minds I’ve ever met. Enjoy.