1.  12/05/2001, 08:46 PM It appears to me from what I have seen and read, that somone would have to be purposely trying pretty hard to make it do something even as dangerous as we have been discussing. ... and that even then, it might take 2 or 3 tries to succed at it I think a few people on both sides of this discussion need to run out to the toy store and buy a gyroscope or 2 and see how they react to sudden stops before they continue. Then remember these are much more complex than a single simple gyro. Bicycles are easier to fall off of than these, and REMEMBER; bicycles are almost ALWAYS going faster than these. Skateboards are usually moving faster than these, also. I think I could risk it. I think the researchers already thought of these things, and have tried them. I think my grandmother could risk it. Also remember that those car crash tests they show at 5-15 mph are only as damaging as they are because of the MASS of the car. The mass is what makes it slow to stop, and damaging to the obstacle. If those cars weighed 100 pounds? negligible damage or danger. Fortunately they thought of this and make them so that people who have as much mass as a car can't ride one.
2.  12/05/2001, 10:46 PM buy a gyroscope or 2 and see how they react to sudden stops before they continue. There's no doubt that the segway can probably survive a sudden stop upright. After all, it has a very low mass and center of gravity. It's the object that is riding it that I'm worried about. We're all naked if you turn us inside out. -David Byrne
3.  12/05/2001, 11:02 PM Originally posted by homer As the bat falls forward, you must move the palm forward so that the bottom of the bat and top of the bat are aligned (= balanced). If you run into the fence while that bat is moving forward, pulling your hand backwords will just throw the bat off balance faster. The bat isn't a gyroscope. I don't think there is any conjecture to it. The basic premise of the vehicle is quite simple. Actually building it to do what it does (emulate the brain's own balance system) is what is so amazing. There is a lot of conjecture. The laws of physics do apply - just as they do with gyroscopes. You don't know it's ability to correct itself - with you on it - unless you try. Effectively, it's running speed. When your foot gets stopped while running, you've lost your ability to keep your balance. The segway won't have. It's ability to remain balanced is NOT dependant on it's wheels. It is dependant on the gyroscopes and 5 processors inside the thing. IOW, you will not get "thrown." At worse it will hit you in the gut while trying to maintain equilibrium. Since it's on two wheels, there's going to be some "weebo-ish" (whatever that stupid clown was that never tipped over because it was bottom heavy) give - so it's not going to be that hard a hit (I've been hit with a baseball travelling much faster than 12mph with nary a bump or bruise) - and then it will correct itself. Last edited by dick-richardson; 12/05/2001 at 11:07 PM. -Joshua I've decided to become enigmatic.
4.  12/05/2001, 11:17 PM I thought that IT looked pretty sweet and would be perfect for urban areas. Don't think it would fly to well in Houston except for the universities and downtown. Postal carriers are going to be all over this device. I thought South Park did a great job of parodying IT a few weeks ago. James Hromadka, TreoCentral Editor Houston - EST. 1836
5.  12/06/2001, 12:32 AM I understand the points being made regarding the gyroscopes. Keep in mind, though, that the gyros aren't what keeps the segway upright. They simply tell the wheels what to do to keep the segway upright. I stand by my argument that if the wheels can't move, then the segway can not remain upright with a person on it. Just like a bike. But what do I know? I haven't actually taken one of these apart yet. ;o) I suppose it could have some massive, horizonal fly-wheel gyro on it, but considering that the entire device is under 65lbs and quite small, there really isn't anyway to make a gyro massive enough to keep a 200lb load vertical if it were to hit a dead stop. BTW, I'm not saying that this device is any more dangerous than other alternatives to walking (skateboarding, inline skating, biking)...I'm just saying that I'd still be worried about potholes more so than I would be if I were on my bike. We're all naked if you turn us inside out. -David Byrne
6.  12/06/2001, 01:00 AM Originally posted by homer I stand by my argument that if the wheels can't move, then the segway can not remain upright with a person on it. And I stand by my argument that it can. It would be no good otherwise - the wheels wouldn't roll to propel, they would roll faster so as to keep the segway upright. IOW, it wouldn't move more than a foot, give or take, at a time. Just like a bike. Entirely unlike a bike. Name one bike that remains upright w/o moving. But what do I know? I haven't actually taken one of these apart yet. ;o) You mean all of this is conjecture? BTW, I'm not saying that this device is any more dangerous than other alternatives to walking (skateboarding, inline skating, biking)...I'm just saying that I'd still be worried about potholes more so than I would be if I were on my bike. Your comment seems rather contradictory. Why would you be more worried about potholes if you're not at least implying that it's more dangerous? Regardless, I think it a bit safer than a bike. I believe there to be significantly little chance of being thrown. If something stops the wheels instantaneously, I believe you may tip forward a bit, but it will bring you back to vertical. I could be wrong. This is just how my mind is wrapping around the information I've read. -Joshua I've decided to become enigmatic.
7.  12/06/2001, 01:50 AM Nope. The circuits and gyros 'brain' don't tell the WHEELS what to do. it tells the 'axles' what to do in relation to what thewheels are doing. If they are rolling, the axles counter for that. If they are stationary, the axles compensate continually for THAT. The axles could be bolted to brick blocks instead of wheels, and the 'brain' would continually feed them the actions to keep them in allignment to vertical in relation to gravity. SOMETIMES if my foot gets stopped while running, I fall. But if the rest of me compensates correctly, then i do a couple of arm waving or hopping maneuvers, and I recover and am on my way, without falling. Wobble? Bobble? Go look at the video: Ginger-ads Then tell me if you see even a little hint of wobble. Dangerous? Yes, yes, yes. WALKING down the sidewalk is dangerous. If I could ride a ginger as fast as I can ride a bike, it would probably be dangerous, like a bike is. (I still think less dangerous though) But in a crash, a bike just falls over with you. When you lose your balance it does too. A ginger continues to do its best to stay upright. It does not do wheelies; it does not ride stair rails; It doesn't jump ramps; It does not move as fast as a bike can. It doesn't move as fast as a skateboard, and it has a stabilizing handhold attached. Look at the video http://www.segway.com/consumer/connect/multimedia.html Last edited by Stever; 12/06/2001 at 02:10 AM.
8.  12/06/2001, 01:28 PM And I stand by my argument that it can. How so? Entirely unlike a bike. Name one bike that remains upright w/o moving. That's my point. It's just like a bike. If it isn't moving, it can't balance the load. A bike balances via it's gyros (the wheels) if the gyros aren't spinning, there is no way to stablize the bike. The gyros in the Segway simply are massive enough to act as stabalizers...they can only detect balance and tell the wheels what do to (the wheels are what keeps the vehicle stable). You mean all of this is conjecture? From the physics that have been explained about the device, no, it isn't conjecture. Your comment seems rather contradictory. Why would you be more worried about potholes if you're not at least implying that it's more dangerous? Bikes have bigger wheels, so they can handle potholes a lot better. That said, they go a lot faster, so I figure the hazards even out. If something stops the wheels instantaneously, I believe you may tip forward a bit, but it will bring you back to vertical. I could be wrong. This is just how my mind is wrapping around the information I've read. I don't see that from what I've read. I guess I should ask you how you think it can do that? The circuits and gyros 'brain' don't tell the WHEELS what to do. it tells the 'axles' what to do in relation to what thewheels are doing. If they are rolling, the axles counter for that. If they are stationary, the axles compensate continually for THAT. Aren't the axles attached to the wheel? Or are you talking about the axle of the motor? Either way, they directly affect what the wheel does. The axles could be bolted to brick blocks instead of wheels, and the 'brain' would continually feed them the actions to keep them in allignment to vertical in relation to gravity. Huh? Watch the videos, the segway, when in motion forward, leans forward, as it should as it is attmepting to make the wheels go faster than the speed that you are falling forward. Just like walking. Walking is merely the body attempting to keep you balanced as you perpetually fall forward. If it is attached to bricks, it can't do that. It CAN act as a simple lever, i.e. if it leans forward, it can bring the fulcrum verticle. But it would need a LOT of torque to bring a 200lb object on a 3 foot fulcrum traveling at 12mph verticle again. Plus, you'd need a hell of a lot of traction on those tires to grip the ground as it attempts to do that. Then tell me if you see even a little hint of wobble. There's a LOT of wobble. It's just minute. It is contantly making minute adjustments to keep you balanced. Remember, this is a BALANCING vehicle. If I tied your feet together and had you fall foward, your body would not be able to right itself. I you lock the wheels on a segway and then you lean forward, it, too, can not right itself. Last edited by homer; 12/06/2001 at 01:36 PM. We're all naked if you turn us inside out. -David Byrne
9.  12/06/2001, 02:14 PM Originally posted by homer A bike balances via it's gyros (the wheels) if the gyros aren't spinning, there is no way to stablize the bike. The gyros in the Segway simply are massive enough to act as stabalizers...they can only detect balance and tell the wheels what do to (the wheels are what keeps the vehicle stable). Wile I don't know enough about gyros to address that aspect, a bicycle (or inline skate, or folding scooter) isn't stable by itself because it doesn't have enough width to support its height and weight. The Segway is wider than it is tall (excluding the post, anyway) and so has enough atmospheric presure on its upper surface that it won't just fall over. A bike is akin to a straight line, the Segway like a box. The light at the end of your tunnel has been disconnected due to non-payment. Please remit funds immediately for restoration of hope.
10.  12/06/2001, 03:27 PM That's my point. It's just like a bike. If it isn't moving, it can't balance the load. It can balance the load, moving or no. they can only detect balance and tell the wheels what do to (the wheels are what keeps the vehicle stable). You were one that was preaching the laws of physics to me, so I ask you - is the motor only spinning the wheels, or the rest of the scooter as well? Could that be used to balance? From the physics that have been explained about the device, no, it isn't conjecture. Yes. It is. Physics can be implemented in many different ways. You are hypothosising at its implementation - hence it is conjecture. I don't see that from what I've read. I guess I should ask you how you think it can do that? By sensing the relationship of the internal gyros to that of the rest of the machine. The gyros will stay vertical. If the sensor is reading the top of the gyroscope, the scooter will behave differently than if the sensor is reading the side. Why we're even discussing this thing like a bike makes no sense. I'd like to see you ride a bicycle with the wheels mounted side by side. Last edited by dick-richardson; 12/06/2001 at 03:48 PM. -Joshua I've decided to become enigmatic.
11.  12/06/2001, 04:09 PM Originally posted by homer [...] Walking is merely the body attempting to keep you balanced as you perpetually fall forward. [...] I don't know if I'd say that since one can still lean backwards while walking forward. ‎"Is that suck and salvage the Kevin Costner method?" - Chris Matthews on Hardball, July 6, 2010. Wonder if he's talking about his oil device or his movie career...
12.  12/06/2001, 04:18 PM Wile I don't know enough about gyros to address that aspect, a bicycle (or inline skate, or folding scooter) isn't stable by itself because it doesn't have enough width to support its height and weight. A bike is stable by itself while moving...the wheels act as gyroscopes. In terms of balance axis, the bike and segway are the same. They each are stable on their own in one axis, and are not stable on their own on the other axis. The bike makes up for this with the gyroscopic wheels (and steering). The segway makes up for it through it's 'brain' which then tells the wheels how to balance the load. It can balance the load, moving or no. How? You were one that was preaching the laws of physics to me, so I ask you - is the motor only spinning the wheels, or the rest of the scooter as well? Could that be used to balance? The motor turns the wheels. If the wheels are locked, then I suppose it's spinning the vehicle...it's really the same thing. the motors are also probably spinning the gyros. By sensing the relationship of the internal gyros to that of the rest of the machine. The gyros will stay vertical. If the sensor is reading the top of the gyroscope, the scooter will behave differently than if the sensor is reading the side. I completely agree with that. But, how DOES the vehicle 'behave'? By moving the wheels. If it can't move the wheels, then it can't behave properly to balance the load. Why we're even discussing this thing like a bike makes no sense. I'd like to see you ride a bicycle with the wheels mounted side by side. The bike analogy was in reference to the Gyros. A bike uses the gyroscopes to PHYSICALLY keep the bike balanced. Of course it wouldn't work if the wheels were side-by-side, as then the wheels would be on the same axis that the gyroscopes are stablizing. On the Seqway, the gyroscopes are instruments (like on a plane) not actualy physical stablizers. The physical stabalizer on the segway is the back-and-forth motion of the wheels. So the bike comparions was more of a contrast. A better analogy is perhaps the unicycle. What a human does on a Unicycle is basically what the brains of the segway do. And I'll scede to you that the above is just conjecture, but it seems pretty basic to me. A few of you are arguing that the segway could balance itself even if the wheels were stuck in a pothole. I haven't heard an argument as to HOW it can do that. We're all naked if you turn us inside out. -David Byrne
13.  12/06/2001, 05:50 PM Originally posted by homer ...I haven't heard an argument as to HOW it can do that. What do you mean you haven't heard an argument as to how it does it? My entire previous post described how it could work. Where is the confusion coming in? Get your mind off of the thought of balancing the bat on your open palm. It's more along the lines of holding the bat vertical with sheer forearm strength. If the bat starts tipping, you can actively straighten the bat without moving your hand just by twisting your wrist in the opposite direction. I understand I don't communicate clearly, but damn! -Joshua I've decided to become enigmatic.
14.  12/06/2001, 06:05 PM Originally posted by homer A few of you are arguing that the segway could balance itself even if the wheels were stuck in a pothole. I haven't heard an argument as to HOW it can do that. If it can balance a rider while standing still (as evidenced on the GMA segment I saw on Monday morning), it certainly can balance while in a pothole. The question is what happens upon entering the pothole and the sudden stop once it gets there, ie the inertial forces placed upon it and the rider. Your bicycle theory about the wheels being gyros is not true. It's the combined center of gravity (rider and bike) and forward motion that keeps a bike upright. The next time you're riding, lean out to once side as far as you can... those wheels aren't going to keep you vertical or prevent you from falling. Plus, a gyroscope only works when a force is applied to it... it's a feedback device. In other words, to utilize the properties of one, you need to exert a force on it in order to have it react. That scenario doesn't happen on a bike. Take one of those industrial floor polishers with the big, round pads. Tilting it forward makes it move backwards and vice versa. That's what the gyros on the Segway are doing... sensing the relationship between the gyro and "level" and making adjustments accordingly. When I watch the GMA piece, I made note of how the Segway remained vertical (with no noticable "wobble") as the riders went up and down the incline ramps. As for keeping itself vertical without moving the wheels, it's the torque of the drive system that accomplishes that, not the wheels themselves. I maintain that you can replace the wheels with blocks and still have the unit maintain a vertical position. If it senses that the rider wants to move forward or back, but doesn't sense that motion (feedback) in it's gyros, it will not (or should not) cause the machine to pitch to or fro. I believe I read it senses movement on 5 different planes, not just along the axis of its axles... if I can find that I'll post a link. . .....MarkEagle .....TreoCentral | VisorCentral Forum Moderator - Forum Guidelines .....Sprint PCS Treo 650 .....God bless America, my home sweet home...
15.  12/06/2001, 06:59 PM oofff, is it getting hot in here or is it just me? Don't Worry It's Human Nature To Point Out The Obvious
16.  12/06/2001, 07:06 PM Originally posted by LeaDxPainT oofff, is it getting hot in here or is it just me? Little irritates me more than not getting my idea across. I really hate having to explain things. Everyone should just understand what I'm saying the first time. Don't get me wrong, it's not homer's fault. This has been a recurring theme with anyone I have to deal with more than a couple times a day - i.e. I communicate convolutedly. -Joshua I've decided to become enigmatic.
17.  12/06/2001, 10:30 PM It's more along the lines of holding the bat vertical with sheer forearm strength. If the bat starts tipping, you can actively straighten the bat without moving your hand just by twisting your wrist in the opposite direction. aha! I'll admit that the above WOULD work IF: 1) The wheels were affixed securly to the pavement (these tires would have to have some AMAZING traction). 2) The electric motors had enough torque to counter a 200lb object on a 3 ft fulcrum travelling at 12mph. (It's been a LONG time since I took physics...does anyone have the formula for the total force that this would equate to?) So, MAYBE it can do that, but these would have to be some monster motors and some truly amazing tires. If it can balance a rider while standing still (as evidenced on the GMA segment I saw on Monday morning), it certainly can balance while in a pothole. I don't think it is standing still. It's making very minor adjustments. Try standing still. You'll notice that your body is making very fine adjustments. It may appear that you are standing still, but you are moving. That said, if there IS a stablizing gyro in the segway, when standing upright, the gyro MAY have enough mass to act as a physical stablizer. Your bicycle theory about the wheels being gyros is not true. It's the combined center of gravity (rider and bike) and forward motion that keeps a bike upright. The next time you're riding, lean out to once side as far as you can... those wheels aren't going to keep you vertical or prevent you from falling. Bicycle wheels certainly are gyros. What do you think a gyroscope is? It is a wheel with an axle. Is the mass of a bicycle wheel enough to balance a human alone? Certainly not. And that's my point. There is no way that there is a gyroscope in the Segway massive enough to stabilize a 200 lb human by itself. It may help, but I believe it's sole purpose it to act as an intrument so that the wheels can keep you stabilized. Take one of those industrial floor polishers with the big, round pads. Tilting it forward makes it move backwards and vice versa. That's what the gyros on the Segway are doing... A floor polisher is also a gyro...a very MASSIVE gyro. A floor polisher is considerably bigger, and much more massive than a segway. Also, try standing on a floor polisher and lean forward. It does NOT have enough mass to keep itelf upright. As for keeping itself vertical without moving the wheels, it's the torque of the drive system that accomplishes that, not the wheels themselves. This is the same argument as ****-Richardsons and it is a valid theory. However, the mass of the device has to be MORE than the object riding it. And this simply isn't the case with the Segway. It can only balance itself if it can balance the center of gravity with forward (or reverse) momentum. If this was an issue of torque only, then the Segway would be at absolute verticle at all times, as it would be most efficient for the motors that way. I maintain that you can replace the wheels with blocks and still have the unit maintain a vertical position. If you're sticking with the toque argument, then the blocks would be a better solution than wheels (more traction + mass). So let's go with torque. If you lean forward on the Segway, what happens? The segway attemps to pull the fulcrum back to pull you upright. However, since the mass/friction on top (the 200lb rider in motion) is more than the mass/friction on bottom (65lbs on wheels) the torque ends up moving the wheels forward to be in alignment with the fulcrum. This, actually, is the same thing. The difference in our arguments is when this wheel gets stuck in a pothole. If I just set the segway in a pothole and wedge the tires in so that they can not move, then I agree with both of your arguments that the torque of the motors would be able to up a slightly off-axis 200 lb object. But, since it would be extremely rare for a wheel to wedge itself so snug and the fact that 200 lbs moving at 12mph puts significantly more force on the fulcrum I simply do not see it being able to remain upright. And, EVEN IF IT COULD, keep in mind that you would hit that handlebar at a force of 24mph. That would hurt. Little irritates me more than not getting my idea across. I really hate having to explain things. Everyone should just understand what I'm saying the first time. I blame my ADD. I end up using simply awful metaphors. They make sense to me, but I tend to forget a few key elements when explaining it and the whole logic of it falls apart. Plus, it's hard to explain things with text only. Pictures work so much better. That and I just like arguing. (which is obvious for all of us, I suppose...why else would we spend our time arguing the physics of a complicated transportation device in a discussion board on Visors?) We're all naked if you turn us inside out. -David Byrne
18.  12/06/2001, 11:05 PM Originally posted by homer I blame my ADD. I end up using simply awful metaphors. They make sense to me, but I tend to forget a few key elements when explaining it and the whole logic of it falls apart. I would, but I'm still getting used to having it. I don't stop and say, "Damn ADHD..." I don't stop for much at all. (which is obvious for all of us, I suppose...why else would we spend our time arguing the physics of a complicated transportation device in a discussion board on Visors?) Passion for the subject matter? A strong inborn desire for self-improvement through argumentative fire? Youthful angst? Corporeal or spiritual importance? I've got it!!! What is the search for Truth? -Joshua I've decided to become enigmatic.
19.  12/06/2001, 11:46 PM I would, but I'm still getting used to having it. I don't stop and say, "Damn ADHD..." I don't stop for much at all. I don't stop either...that's one of the problems. ADD is much more obvious in hindsight. Knowing that I have it, however, has helped me catch myself earlier...especially in meetings. I still like arguing. By I try to pace myself a bit better now. We're all naked if you turn us inside out. -David Byrne
20.  12/07/2001, 06:43 AM Originally posted by ****-richardson Passion for the subject matter? A strong inborn desire for self-improvement through argumentative fire? Youthful angst? Corporeal or spiritual importance? I've got it!!! What is the search for Truth? Nah... none of us has anything better to do... . .....MarkEagle .....TreoCentral | VisorCentral Forum Moderator - Forum Guidelines .....Sprint PCS Treo 650 .....God bless America, my home sweet home...
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