SegWay Scooter RECALL

the local news gave a hint of the problem, "...software upgrade...low
battery....throws rider to ground..."
let me guess, the battery goes flat and the wheels lock? rider error?
that's kinda opinion, but it reminds me of my very first digital
camera.
my Ricoh would shutdown on low battery trying to charge the flash,
instead of simply canceling the charge and flashing an error led.
turn it back on and it would be fine for non-flash use.
it took some time and battery changes to figure this, then an
irate call to Ricoh: their response, "yeah, it does that..."
just how stupid will the "green" engineers remain? does no one
keep a job long enough to develop common sense? christ... --Loren
Reply to
Loren Coe
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I suspect it's more of a servo system that senses orientation and uses the motors to keep itself upright. When the batteries are weak there isn't enough power to drive the motors quickly enough so you fall down. :-)
Best Regards, Keith Marshall snipped-for-privacy@progressivelogic.com
"I'm not grown up enough to be so old!"
Reply to
Keith Marshall
I think you're way of base on this one. From what I've read about the "problem"... it's a matter of the product not being "idiot-proof" enough for the dumbest consumer. For instance, if you ignore the low battery warning and keep running the thing... the wheels will stop. Thank god these idiots aren't flying airplanes! Unfortunately, the same morons who run out of gas on their way to work in the morning... are buying Segways. Maybe blame the marketing department for targeting customers who are too stupid? If a guy is running low on gas and tries to beat a speeding freight train through an intersection... do you blame the engineers for not shutting down the engine before he actually ran out of gas? When you're out of go-juice... you're out of luck; common sense is supposed to keep you from running out of steam at an inopportune moment! lol The "upgrade" will probably just turn on the warning light when there is 20% battery life left instead of 10% (or whatever the threshold is) so the performance and range of all 6,000 Segways will be reduced in order to "dumb them down" to the level of worst 3 customers. Pretty sad. Sadly, in our "lawyer rich, common sense poor" society... every paragraph of most instruction sheets starts with "Warning, Danger, or Caution" so they get ignored like the boy who cried wolf too many times.
"Riders are reminded that, even after the software upgrade, appropriate operating techniques as described in Segway HT user materials are essential to safety." (from SegWay website).
The recall story is here:
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Take care, David
Reply to
David Courtney
I didn't mean it like that, or against anyone here... it's just frustrating that product liability is based on what the dumbest person you can find would do; rather than what a "reasonable" person, of even below average intelligence, would do. David
Reply to
David Courtney
When the lawyers get through with it, the Segway will have 4 wheels and an airbag.
ff
Reply to
ff
They just don't consider every possible angle when beta testing new devices. Look at how Sony's multimillion project to make ripping audio CD impossible, and it was ruined over a $0.99 marker? No one thought of using marker to defeat copy protection scheme.
What they could use is to recruit a few MaCgyver-esque testers and let them find bugs. They'd probably find more bugs than some of the top of the line programmers.
Reply to
Impmon
It certainly has a chilling effect on innovation in general, especially for a small enterprise or individual inventor. Every new design/modification has potential pitfalls, the effect of those hard to foresee events is magnified in the hands of the careless or stupid.
Reply to
ATP
My neighbor took hers into town (1.5 miles) after her husband and visitor played around with it all morning. She ran out of juice just short of town. Her cell phone and Segway were out of power at the same time. No problem, it just stopped.
Earle Rich Mont Vernon, NH
Reply to
ERich10983
LOL we have one of those GEM cars at work, Chrysler's golf cart "Neighborhood Electric Vehicle" It was fun to scoot around in for a while, but traveling at 18 mph with the typical traffic at 30 to 35 in a 25 mph zone got a bit frustrating.
Reply to
ATP
You would think that they would have tested these scooters under all conditions, before unleashing them on the public. A low battery is hardly an unusual condition, how come these bozos didn't think of it?
Reply to
gonzo
Accordingl to the stories I am reading about this recall one has to ignore several 'low battery' messages including a vibrating handlebar to get to the 'nose in pavement' stage. Seems a case of trying to make it more idiot proof in the face of better idiots.
Regards. Ken.
Reply to
Ken Davey
On 27 Sep 2003 11:48:29 -0700, jim rozen pixelated:
Hear, hear! Let's bring those bloody lawyers (who ACCEPT the stupid people's cases) up on charges! And up the wattage on those cell phones to 50W. They'll fry brains faster.
Too many frivilous lawsuits keep the potential Darwin awardees -alive-.
-- Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life. ---- --Unknown
Reply to
Larry Jaques
.....>> >
ROTFLOL! .... thanks for that, Ken. i don't know why this is so funny, visualizing some poor sap smacking the pavement. it would be a good subject for 'Farside' or 'Mad Magazine'. --LOren
Reply to
Loren Coe
aka "woodpeckering"
Best regards, Spehro Pefhany
Reply to
Spehro Pefhany
It looks like they did, its just a specific batch that has the problem .
All the new ones include a firmware upgrade to fix the problem.
-A
Reply to
Andre
Segway is essentially a 2 wheeled unicycle tha replaces the inner ear and muscles of a human with computers, gyro, and batteries. Falling is just part of the deal. I think they are pretty cool but no substitute for bikes. Electrics assisted bikes are probably more practical solutions to people moving in cities and short trips.
Reply to
dann mann
Yeah, the power use algorithm doesn't account for the series resistance of the battery, a problem in any mobile servo app. The electronic types simply assume that since the potential is effectively constant, the impedance _must be_ inherently zero.
The two are not related.
The mechanical types usually just use a bigger servo and battery, which needs a bigger servo to move the servo and battery, in the Segway.
What happened is that the potnential looks good on the meter, but under demand drops enough to throw out the lock on upright-ness, either by failure of drive linearity or an actual downed processor. It's a standard robotic problem. Run some 10 gage off the battery to drive the impaler-arm, then why does the left spin not work. Answer: interference, either RF, AF, LF, or DC.
This is what gets me about Kamen's designes. It's just not healthy to work in an ivory tower.
Yours,
Doug Goncz (at aol dot com) Replikon Research
Read the RIAA Clean Slate Program Affidavit and Description at
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will be signing an amended Affidavit soon.
Reply to
Doug Goncz
Dumb riders are reminded that, even after being reminded, their own dumb software OS may not completely propagate the reminder or any upgrade within the system, to wit, their dumb brain.
Kind of like being told the griddle is hot and not figuring out for yourself that your SOP "Avoid burning hands" now has a corrolary: "Don't touch that.", supported by "Don't touch hot things".
That's one thing my ultracapacitor bike just _doesn't do_. All it does is make the bike act as if it weighs more than it does. It's relativistic mass, I tell you! It's alayeevuh! It never needs to be recharged because the rider creates and it stores and releases the energy in the cap bank. Everybody has a notion of momentum and inertia.
The system has only two components: a motor coupled to the bike at a single highly efficient rato, and across the motor, a cap bank to store energy. The cool thing is it's self-throttling up a hill, automatically staying on the right side of the power curve, and the choice of the exact operation over in that range is under the user's control by leg power.
The energy stored is directly proportional to the kinetic energy of the moving bike, since Q = 1/2 * C * E * E :: 1/2 * M * V * V = KE.
The total energy stored is just enough to change gears half as often ascending a hill, increasing rider-to-ground transfer a lot during the critical hill interface period. I tried it the other day, swerving in and out between cars as they plodded up the hill I attacked with the system OFF. It really works. You gotta attack that hill but only if you know you'll make it to the top with wind and speed to spare.
If you're going to have to plod in first gear, then get to first early without trying too hard. No point in blowing yourself out. Only if you know you can make it, or if you chance it and do make it, is it worth attaching the hill. Like throwing your full weight against a piece of furniture that you know is gonna move. If you throw weight and it doesn't move, ouch.
There's like a 500% time difference between attacking a hill and making it, and just grinding up the same hill. It's exciting as well as exhilarating.
See:
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Link works. Nice graph. For a dip instead of a hill, you actually gain seconds over the flat road and come out ahead. Thus, the racer attacks hills or dips both.
It's a question of using your limited resources effectively in racing, or efficienctly in touring. You either try to put the energy where it makes the most difference, or level out the road and go for the long, slow burn. Same as the difference in design between a maneuverable fighter carrying a a high-energy-per-weight.boron fuel, or a long-range bomber carring a dense, low profile high-energy-per-volume hydrocarbon fuel.
In the one, you're accelerating tuel so weight matters. In the other, you're reducing drag to gain range, so volume matters. Likewise, to get to LEO, it's about energy, or H2/O2, while for cruise, say to Juptier, it's about specific impulse. Or the Mars Mission. Specific impulse. To LEO, you just need a light vehicle carrying enough fuel: payload ratio. You design in the payload ratio and design out excess weight with FEA. To Mars, you pick a technology that can get you there, and usually end up with a big'un.
The Segway doesn't know if it's a fighter or a bomber. It sure isn't a tanker. It, like most retail products, must be both fighter and bomber, and also cheap, and also durable. (Pick any two in the real world, or we're at the table working it out forever and our asses get itis.)
I say that if you have the guts to not try to market to everyone in the whole world, or include a simple two position mode switch, the last two get a whole lot easier, and you profit.
Are American drivers so dumb they don't even _know_ whether they are going for a long drive or a short one? Yes! That is, taking the time to set the critical switch to the correct position would require a GUI for most of us, which is a problem if you're driving to the hospital to deliver, in which case you need everything you've got in terms of performance and control, plus good judgement.
There's no way a battery powered electric vehicle is ever gonna be a bomber but mine is a figher, a bomber, and a tanker, too. The mode switch is analog: it's just the state of charge of the cap bank. When it's full, you can either spend all 15 WH in nine seconds, or keep that energy for nine days. Batteries just don't do that. When it's empty, the system doesn't drag you down and you recharge in any way you like. Since it charges going down and discharges going up a hill, it has infinite range. As long as you've got a bit to eat, it can keep going, fast or slow, five minutes or all day.
Yours,
Doug Goncz (at aol dot com) Replikon Research
Read the RIAA Clean Slate Program Affidavit and Description at
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will be signing an amended Affidavit soon.
Reply to
Doug Goncz
What actually happens is that while you fill out the credit request form, the clerk tries to see if you can walk and chew gum at the same time. If you can, your credit is good enough for them. In other words, if you can't carry on a friendly conversation while doing paperwork, life is hard.
If you fail, it's not usually because of what's on the form. The system discriminates horribly against the incompetent, but even that isn't enough.
Yes. "Do we dare make this right? Someone might get hurt if we fix this problem." Better play it safe since the known hurt hurts less than the new hurt. In Arabic, they say something like the cage you know is better than the one you dont'.
It's just so sad. Snerf.
Yours,
Doug Goncz (at aol dot com) Replikon Research
Read the RIAA Clean Slate Program Affidavit and Description at
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will be signing an amended Affidavit soon.
Reply to
Doug Goncz
Web article: Segway killed my puppy! (which is humour and well written)
Yours,
Doug Goncz (at aol dot com) Replikon Research
Read the RIAA Clean Slate Program Affidavit and Description at
formatting link
will be signing an amended Affidavit soon.
Reply to
Doug Goncz

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