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Old 3rd August 2008, 01:59 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Toyota unveils two-wheeled motorized scooter





The Associated Press - 8/1/2008 4:18 PM GMT

Toyota unveils two-wheeled motorized scooter

Toyota has developed a motorized, stand-up-and-ride scooter designed to help people dash around at malls and airports.

But the "Winglet," shown Friday in Tokyo, takes some getting used to. A demonstrator accompanying a reporter cautiously trying out the Segway-lookalike on a short course in a Toyota showroom was visibly worried about its safety.

Toyota officials insist anyone can learn to ride it with some practice, including the elderly _ its major target buyer.

But Toyota Motor Corp. has no plans yet to turn the Winglet into a commercial product. The Japanese automaker will start testing the two-wheeler later this year at an airport and resort complex and next year at a shopping mall, all in Japan, to get user feedback. Overseas test plans are undecided.

The Winglet goes up to 6 kph (3.7 mph), about the same speed as pedestrians and far slower than U.S.-made Segway at 20 kph (12.5 mph).

It stops easily with little pressure, pivots full-circle and goes smoothly over bumps on roads, according to Toyota.

The machine is designed to respond almost intuitively _ moving forward when you lean to the front, and turning when you sway to the right or left, similar to skiing. One of three models shown comes with a protruding handle that can be grabbed and used like a steering wheel.

Toyota executive Takeshi Uchiyamada, who zipped around on a Winglet as though he was on a skateboard, said experimenting new ways of mobility and robotics is a pillar of company strategy to contribute to society through helping the aged and providing environmentally friendly products.

Winglet, which runs on electricity, goes about 5 kilometers (3 miles) on one charge.

"We hope to create friendly robots that can exist side by side with people," said Uchiyamada. "Winglet will help everyone move around safely and stay active."

The smallest version of Winglet, weighing 22 pounds (9.9 kilograms), can be folded up to be carried on commuter trains or packed in car trunks.

Winglet evolved out of Toyota's takeover of parts of Sony Corp. robotics division last year after the Japanese electronics maker decided under reforms led by Chief Executive Howard Stringer to focus on electronics and wipe out its Aibo pet robot and other peripheral businesses.

Toyota Project General Manager Yoshihiro Kawarasaki, a former Sony engineer, said Winglet is designed to be unobtrusive in elevators and other tight spaces.

"This is the kind of product that's making a completely new proposal to society," he said, adding that it can come in handy in urban neighborhoods with steep slopes.

Toyota envisions a future in which Winglet will be packed with wireless technology so it relays shopping information at stores. Or it may move on its own to recharge its batteries, or collect its owner when summoned, Uchiyamada said.

Toyota has previously shown human-shaped robots that play the violin and the trumpet. It has also shown an experimental single-seat vehicle that resembles a motorized wheelchair.

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Old 3rd August 2008, 08:09 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Toyota unveils two-wheeled motorized scooter

dats wad u get frm japan..

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Old 4th August 2008, 11:18 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Toyota unveils two-wheeled motorized scooter

any picture to see

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Old 4th August 2008, 11:24 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Toyota unveils two-wheeled motorized scooter

Upz.

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Old 4th August 2008, 11:27 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Toyota unveils two-wheeled motorized scooter

nice. if only it can go faster.

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Old 4th August 2008, 11:32 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Toyota unveils two-wheeled motorized scooter

too slow, im not disable

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Old 4th August 2008, 11:36 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Toyota unveils two-wheeled motorized scooter

hmm... i think singaporeans will get fatter n fatter with this

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