Join 3,512 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)

Tags:

Segway recall
September 26, 2003 10:15 AM   Subscribe

Segways recalled.
posted by liam (59 comments total)

 
(Newsfilter - tech exception?)
posted by liam at 10:21 AM on September 26, 2003


Dean Kamen is to inventor as Walt Disney World is to magic.
posted by the fire you left me at 10:27 AM on September 26, 2003


HOLY SHIT!
posted by Quartermass at 10:30 AM on September 26, 2003


What are those three people going to do without their Segways?
posted by herc at 10:33 AM on September 26, 2003


Good thing they didn't totally change the infrastructure of cities everywhere for the mighty Ginger.
posted by Outlawyr at 10:36 AM on September 26, 2003


Peter Gabriel is going to be pissed.
posted by Ufez Jones at 10:38 AM on September 26, 2003


It's a software upgrade. Nobody's going to have to give up their Segway.
posted by mr_roboto at 10:44 AM on September 26, 2003


I was having lunch at Stanford a couple months back, and some geek rode in on one, and for one reason or another, he was allowing anyone to ride it that wanted. About 30 people took turns taking it for a spin, a couple were zinging all over the place, most people looked like the elderly using a walker, but there were 2 or 3 really spectacular crashes, where people went over the bars and onto the ground.

I was busy eating lunch and chatting with friends, so I didn't notice the cause of these accidents, just the scraped elbows and dust clouds after the fact, but it surprised me to see it was possible to wreck on one.
posted by mathowie at 10:45 AM on September 26, 2003


I think this merits a very, very special HA-ha.
posted by soyjoy at 10:48 AM on September 26, 2003


Putting aside the seriousness of the falls. Hmm, three reports of people falling off this thing. We know of one, for sure. Remember :-) I wonder who the other ones are.
posted by NewBornHippy at 10:48 AM on September 26, 2003


Well, a head injury would explain a lot.

3 injuries? I wonder how many injuries would be necessary for a car company to start a recall. I'm sure it isn't 3 or less.
posted by crunchland at 10:51 AM on September 26, 2003


i'm just gonna wait for the service pack, no need to fiddle with these updates
posted by Lungsbreth at 10:52 AM on September 26, 2003


I bet Steve Jobs shit his pants when he heard about this.
posted by soyjoy at 10:54 AM on September 26, 2003


I wonder who the other ones are.
iirc, a city employee in Atlanta; also one of our members pointed out, it would only be a matter of time until they are recalled/sued.
posted by thomcatspike at 10:54 AM on September 26, 2003


At the Austin Music Festival last weekend I saw this one guy zipping by on one. He seemed pretty fit but also pretty nerdy to be on one of those things at an event like that, and most of all he looked really wealthy, which I tend to dislike pretty immediately. I figure he worked for the festival, otherwise there'd be no way for him to get inside with that thing. It's the first time I've ever seen one, tho - and I have to say my first reaction was that kind of embarrassed shock, sort of like how you respond the first time you see any other kind of exclusively rich yuppy toy, like a gem-encrusted gold-plated palm pilot or belt buckle or something. They seem completely unneccessary.

I liked to imagine him ten or twenty years in the future, tho.
Zipping by on his fake legs, fatter than the fattest jackass. I mean do we really need a device for the uncrippled to stop walking? I've always enjoyed people showing an image of a bicycle as a reply to the segway, saying the technology has existed for over a hundred years already. Last I heard no bicycles have been recalled for battery burnouts.
posted by Peter H at 11:04 AM on September 26, 2003


Good point Peter H.

The only difference between these and electric wheelchairs is that people in electric wheelchairs usually can't stand.

"Ah-ha! I'm not a total phony! As you can plainly see, I'm standing! I could choose to get off and walk at any point (I hope), so that is the difference.... see?"
posted by jon_kill at 11:12 AM on September 26, 2003


The news goons made the Segway recall out to be bigger than it is. According to the actual voluntary recall notice on the CPSC site, it's a software problem and the fix is a software download. And here the news media made it seem like the Segway was doomed. How many times a week does Micro$oft issue software patches? No one dooms them!
posted by Sal Amander at 11:14 AM on September 26, 2003


A friend and I spent about 4 hours riding Segways in Paris (we signed up for the Paris Segway Tour). They are a blast. After a bit of practice it feels like there are wheels moulded to your feet. Movement is utterly effortless. It's the closest thing to being a Jetson. Anyway, all the naysayers here might change their tune if they tried one, because they are fun as hell. As a viable alternative for daily transportation I'm not so sure (exercise, anyone?), but if I had more dough than I knew what to do with, I'd buy one.
posted by Succa at 11:23 AM on September 26, 2003


What are those three people going to do without their Segways? hehehehehehe

Ditto Peter H comment.

While interesting in concept (maybe), the Segway did not live up to the hype (imo) and is nothing more than a toy.
posted by a3matrix at 11:39 AM on September 26, 2003


Peter H:

1) Some bicycles have batteries to burn out.
2) Did you actually READ the notice? Its about defective software, not batteries. If bad software that breaks and causes human inconvience is an issue for you, I look forward to you 'piling on' the next time a Mircosoft bug causes a shutdown.
3) Ever try to get a 'mobility device for the disabled' approved? Now, what about a 'rich persons toy'? Guess what - Segway as 'toy' got approved. People who have trouble walking have bought Segways.
posted by rough ashlar at 11:44 AM on September 26, 2003


I'm waiting for a shoot-em-up featuring Segway riders, there'd be something sickly satisfying about that.
posted by tommasz at 11:52 AM on September 26, 2003


What are those three people going to do without their Segways?

The can buy my new book: Learn to Walk in 10 Easy Steps
posted by ZenMasterThis at 11:53 AM on September 26, 2003


3 wrecks in 6000 sold? I bet the big auto makes would sell their souls for stats like that.

The real reason for the Segway recall is to make it fool proof, as is evident by the picture in the MSNBC article on the recall. Obviously Dean Kamen forgot that whenever you build a fool proof system, a better fool comes along to ruin it.


posted by DragonBoy at 11:55 AM on September 26, 2003


Oh, that would be the Segway recall and not the California recall.
posted by DragonBoy at 11:58 AM on September 26, 2003


rough ashlar:

1) those are only the expensive ones.
the cheap ones (see below) run great and only require maintenance to the tires and chain, and sometimes the brakes




2) yes, i did READ the notice. you don't need to yell.
3) no, people who have trouble walking use walkers



people who are yuppy and want bling bling use segways



i mean, who is this marketed to?
people who like to show off money and irritate others have bought Segways
posted by Peter H at 12:12 PM on September 26, 2003


because they are fun as hell
had more dough than I knew what to do with

I'd buy a Harley-Davidson:P What you described, can see as a nice use Succa. [scratches head wondering about all the stairs]

Segway is trying to sell itself as a life necessity, way of the future. I like fun, yet folks it may well be today’s future sale, "fun"... it's fun, buy one, you don't need it, just the fun; kind of pathetic when the cost is valued on fun, not necessity.
posted by thomcatspike at 12:13 PM on September 26, 2003


[/viewing woman on segway, in heels]
Oh wait, I want one, I'd be taller;D
posted by thomcatspike at 12:17 PM on September 26, 2003


When are they going to recall skateboards?

most of all he looked really wealthy, which I tend to dislike pretty immediately.

::: shakes head sadly :::

kind of pathetic when the cost is valued on fun, not necessity.

Yes, I'm sure everything in your life is strictly based upon its necessity (and if it is, I pity you). You're a little behind the times with that puritanical schtick ("fun=bad"), anyway.
posted by rushmc at 12:20 PM on September 26, 2003


metaRemix: along with the upgrade, owners could learn to squat while zipping around. Less distance to fall on your head.
posted by Jeremy at 12:21 PM on September 26, 2003


::: shakes head sadly :::

rushmc - Theres a difference between showing off wealth and being wealthy. You separate yourself from a whole class of people when you show off something that is automatically a status symbol. I'm all for wealth!, I dont want to 'burn the rich' or anything. I love buying things. But there is something really unlikable about someone showing off fancy cars, expensive clothes, etc. there's usually a hollow face attached to it (think bronson pinchot in true romance) and there's also just a kind of icky dullness to this group of people. Again, not wealthy intelligent cultured people, I mean wealthy people who feel the insecure or greedy need to show off their wealth with accessories like segways and safari trophies. I'm not alone here, alot of people in this world immediately resent these people. This is why we are comfortable keeping them in gated communities.

I value being humble and comfortable. There is nothing humble about a Segway.
posted by Peter H at 12:33 PM on September 26, 2003


p.s. for fun's sake - i love my gameboy sp, the new outkast album is AMAZING, i can't wait to see cabin fever, etc. i would look silly doing any of this on a Segway.
posted by Peter H at 12:37 PM on September 26, 2003


How fickle we Metafilterians are....
posted by UncleFes at 12:39 PM on September 26, 2003


Now those lazy bastards have to walk like the rest of us.
posted by trbrts at 12:47 PM on September 26, 2003


I have hated the Segway since day one, due to the laws the company railroaded through in most every state it is an accident waiting to happen. If it were restricted to the street where it belongs, I would have no problem with it. On the sidewalks, travelling up to 15 MPH, legally defined as having the same rights as a pedestrian, it is a menace to anyone on foot, on a bicycle, or in a car.

It is only a shame that this recall was but a glitch and not a fatal product flaw.
posted by jester69 at 12:55 PM on September 26, 2003


I hurt my back a while back and it can really hurt to walk long distances, although I can do it, I'd certanly like a segway.

Actualy, my backs been getting 'better' in that that I'm almost as flexable as I was before I injured it, but now it also hurts to stand. so a segway wouldn't do me much better then walking anyway. It also hurts to sit. And to lie down.

Fuck. What I really need is some codine.

---

But actualy I had been zipping around one of those little motorized razor scooters (then I got a handycapped sticker and took to driving around campus, only for two weeks though. rrr.). The thing cost me $200, not $4k, and it works just as well. It also only weighs 40 pounds, not 100 or whatever the segway does.
posted by delmoi at 12:57 PM on September 26, 2003


I like fun, yet folks it may well be today’s future sale, "fun"... it's fun, buy one, you don't need it, just the fun
rushmc How many segway buyer have said, this was great, my energy was concerved now I can do more with my muscles too. Instead, I hear, "it's fun to ride."

A necessity in life is fun, otherwise you would be a bore. Just pointing out the sale factor here. Seen Segaway selling this product as; everyone one will need it, they will build cities around it. They have in a way, disabled access. My legs will not hold up after a long distance walk, because the damage I did to them running track yet a society that depends on these is doomed to have less fun when they grow older. Their muscles will not function properly thus will sit idle wishing, if only they had walked more often. Use it or lose it, you decide and yes Segway can be a useful tool.
PS Rush viewing your web site I take you could have fun w/o a cent in your pocket. That's a gift one posses not a given I've found;)
posted by thomcatspike at 1:16 PM on September 26, 2003


people who like to show off money and irritate others have bought Segways

Yep. I'm sure most people bought them just to bother people like you. Why do you care so much what other people do? They're not hurting you in any way, they're not taking anything away from you, live and let live, man. Don't you have more important things to be concerned with than petty things like what other people do with their money? Sure, some people like to show off their money (your noticing it and getting annoyed by it probably feeds it), but other people really appreciate novel ideas or good engineering or just find things like this fun - not everyone who buys an expensive *foo* does it for the bling bling factor, and I'm reasonably certain that the "irritation" here is pretty much entirely generated by you, rather than by the people who ride Segways. It's entirely reasonable to be irritated if they get in your way, endanger you, whatever, but to be irritated just because they have something you wouldn't buy for yourself is just silly.
posted by biscotti at 1:20 PM on September 26, 2003


yeah, but delmoi, those razor scooters aren't SAFE man, you can fall off!
posted by zekinskia at 1:23 PM on September 26, 2003


fair enough biscotti. true, true.
posted by Peter H at 1:48 PM on September 26, 2003


You're all a bunch of idiots.
posted by solistrato at 2:16 PM on September 26, 2003


not everyone who buys an expensive *foo* does it for the bling bling factor

, except where *foo* = Hummer.
posted by goethean at 2:17 PM on September 26, 2003


> Segways recalled.

I read this as "Segways remembered," as in "remember those hazy, crazy days of yore when Ginger was gonna be huge?"
posted by jfuller at 2:24 PM on September 26, 2003


The Segway is pure marketing hype, its effectively useless in 99% of the situations people find themselves in. But there are some specific applications that it would be reasonable good at. Postal carriers are one, beat cops might be another but the things are so slow that they'd have to run after someone and then someone else would steal the Segway.

Its a cool idea but it should have stayed on the drawing board.

Now if this ever comes on the market then I'll sign up to see if I can split my head open on it. It makes the Segway look positively safe by comparison.
posted by fenriq at 2:48 PM on September 26, 2003


But there is something really unlikable about someone showing off fancy cars, expensive clothes, etc.

Using something does not necessarily impy an intent to "show off."
posted by rushmc at 3:03 PM on September 26, 2003


bah, you're all just jealous cause you haven't had a chance to ride one.

and Jobs was dead on target.
posted by shadow45 at 3:20 PM on September 26, 2003


FWIW, there were six of these swarming around as part of a recent parade through Waikiki. I'm not sure if Segway PR folks are inserting things like this, or if there were, in fact, at least six people (or one agency) out here willing to spring for 'em.

I remember the front page photos of our local lawmakers zipping around the State Capitol on these things, as they were working on the aforementioned legal amendments needed to allow them on our sidewalks. Shameless.

Er, which isn't to say I'd at least ride one once in a second, given the chance.
posted by pzarquon at 3:26 PM on September 26, 2003


how do you know we haven't ridden one?

Just get bicycles and stop being such lard arses on your wheeled platform thingies, bah!
posted by lerrup at 3:27 PM on September 26, 2003


Thanks Jeremy, Woz lowriding made my day!
posted by roboto at 3:32 PM on September 26, 2003


I just have to love it when slack-jawed jockels whose greatest achievement is posting to an internet message board derides a nifty and useful gadget.

Sounds like most of them are just sore because they can't afford one.
posted by spazzm at 5:43 PM on September 26, 2003


spazzm, your grammar and sentence structure is the most slack-jawed and under-educated on this whole thread. Really, jot that stuff on a napkin and read it out loud for clarity before you post it on the web next time. Your post is useless.

biscotti and rushmc made some good points, tho.

To them both - I think my personal panty-twisting is just how fricken abnoxious the damn thing is. I mean it's huge and kind of seems like the king of objects to serve as a sort of "HONK! look at me!" ...its very presence pushes a button, to me anyway. Sort of like how people used to insist that by 2002 all of us would -need- HDTV and the threat was that there wouldnt be any real television signals for older sets by 2005, or something. Remember that bullshit? But a bunch of people bought an HDTV to prove they could. But you are right, it isnt hurting me. I should let people have fun on their Segways. Go, people, have your fun. But i still think you're bozos!

rushmc - Using something does not necessarily impy an intent to "show off."

What about stuff like those $45 dollar 'casual' diesel cotton tshirts? Or other stuff that is just inflated in price because it's sold to people whose primary goal in buying it is to prove that they have the money to do so? It's that sort of thing that I mean ...You know, just to clarify.

man, I'm crabby! heh.
posted by Peter H at 8:49 PM on September 26, 2003


Segways recalled

Ahhh, I remember Segways.
posted by kindall at 8:57 PM on September 26, 2003


I just have to love it when slack-jawed jockels whose greatest achievement is posting to an internet message board derides a nifty and useful gadget.

Sheesh, I don't mean to be a priss but the more I stare at the first sentence of spazzm's post the more confused I get by it. My brain hurts. Good night!
posted by Peter H at 8:58 PM on September 26, 2003


a bunch of people bought an HDTV to prove they could.

It definitely had nothing to do with picture quality or the fact that quite a few programs are broadcast in HDTV (and look amazing) or piddling matters like that, of course...no, clearly the only reason anyone could possibly have bought an HD TV is to prove they could. ;)

Peter H, you're so crabby you could be the next ingredient on Iron Chef!
posted by biscotti at 9:13 PM on September 26, 2003


Ha, YES. "His use of Peter H in the shrimp tofu taco and mint salmon ice cream was absolutely stunning! high marks!"

To further clarify - I mean people who bought HDTV sets years before they had a single channel for them or dvd players werent set to playback on them correctly! And yes, this did happen. Ask my brother's dotcom roommate! He did this, and believe me we all heard about his great HDTV that he could afford. (ah the fun of message boards and their forum for unwanted personal information) ...I'm sure he's chugging along on a Segway right now. Or he's laid off and squandered all that money away on $how and tell.

If you're reading this and you are laid off now, I'm sorry Tom!
posted by Peter H at 10:46 PM on September 26, 2003


Bah, I'm waiting for the Megway hardware upgrade.
posted by DBAPaul at 6:10 AM on September 27, 2003


thomcatspike has got it with the "use it or lose it" philosophy. I work at a nursing home and daily see the results of "losing it". It's truly tragic when someone ends up completely bedridden / wheelchair bound the last years of their life.

I agree with the sentiment that Segways are obnoxious, but on the other hand I also agree that they are good for certain applications - the whole postal carrier / meter maid idea.

I liked hearing of Succa's experience in Paris, as I was also thinking they would be good for people on vacation, who are probably walking three times as much per day as they usually do - renting a Segway for a few hours could make a huge difference in how much your feet hurt at the end of a day of sightseeing.

And for older (or mobility-impaired) people who can stand and walk but just not all that far, it would greatly increase their total possible range of travel in a day. Of course, anyone seeing them would peg them as obnoxious snobs, but that's how it goes.
posted by beth at 6:28 AM on September 27, 2003


The heck with the Segway - I want one of these!
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:40 AM on September 27, 2003


A few weeks ago I learned that I'll need surgery for bilateral neurofibromas on my acoustic nerves, and a likely complication will be impairment of balance and coordination. I'd been wondering what kind of challenge walking would be afterward and whether a Segway would be a justifiable and worthwhile means of getting around. Well, after reading this thread, I think maybe I'll just get a cane.
posted by alumshubby at 7:14 AM on September 27, 2003


Anything that pisses off this many people can't be all bad.
posted by reidfleming at 7:35 AM on September 27, 2003


« Older PandaCam:...  |  I attacked and took over two c... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments