Segway Robotic Mobility Platform Looks Like A Tumblebug

Segway's Robotic Mobile Platform (RMP) is now being sold by Japan SGI (only in Japan). The RMP was designed as a durable package for robotics applications.

(Robotic Mobile Platform (RMP))

However, to me, it works a lot like the tumblebug, from Robert Heinlein's 1940 novella The Roads Must Roll:

Gaines and Harvey mounted tumblebugs, and kept abreast of the Cadet Captain, some twenty-five yards behind the leading wave. It had been a long time since the Chief Engineer had ridden one of these silly-looking little vehicles, and he felt awkward. A tumblebug does not give a man dignity, since it is about the size and shape of a kitchen stool, gyro-stabilized on a single wheel.
(Read more about Heinlein's tumblebugs)

The Segway RMP is battery powered and statically stable; it is currently in use at more than twenty universities for applications involving mapping, leader-follower pairs, obstacle avoidance and path planning. It can carry up to 200 pounds (good news for many engineers looking for a tumblebug) and can travel at speeds of up to 8 miles per hour.

Check out these single-wheel balancing robots and scooters:

Read more about Segway's Robotic Mobility Platform; here is the product announcement (in Japanese) - RMP.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 2/24/2007)

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