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I am curious to know if Segway, or any other company, has ever made front and rear training wheels for the original version of the Segway personal transporter device.

To help illustrate what I mean by 'front and rear training wheels', I created this generic drawing of the original version of the Segway having both a front and a rear training wheel:

enter image description here

Did anyone ever make training wheels for the original Segway personal transporter device?

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2 Answers 2

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From an engineering standpoint, the "tilt-limiting" wheels would impose operating restrictions that would reduce the "fun-factor" of these devices by limiting the acceleration.

Acceleration is created by pushing the bars forward and is proportional to the distance from zero (possibly vertical). By the same token, deceleration is the reverse and the rear limiting wheel would prevent rapid slowing.

As the electronics within the device provide for the balancing of the entire "vehicle," there is no need for training wheels.

Airwheel makes the equivalent in wheelchair form, the A6TS which has "parking feet" to enable the operator to sit and to exit in a graceful and safe manner:

A6TS wheelchair

The "crutch tip" on the end of the tubing is duplicated to the rear, as evidenced in the linkage just under the seat. A lever pushes both tips to the ground, stabilizing the chair. Once power is engaged, the internal self balancing system allows the bars to be retracted, but no wheels are involved.

I've been keeping atop these types of transport for the last decade or so and have found nothing remotely similar to your suggested wheels.

I would have found myself in greater peril if the Airwheel S8 I use for mobility had a deceleration limiter and have not found myself in peril for lacking the acceleration limiter, although the warning beeps are more a nuisance than anything else when it comes to leaning too far forward.

There are many Segway videos on YouTube showing people who are imperiled by actions created by the operator, but a fore or aft wheel would likely not provide any benefit. The lever arm on a stock Segway would easily overpower the shorter lever arm in your drawing, when combined with the weight of the operator.

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  • $\begingroup$ Those are good points that you make. I like the design of the Airwheel A6TS model. I have elderly parents and I think this model would be great for them. $\endgroup$
    – user57467
    Commented Apr 15 at 23:12
  • $\begingroup$ fred_dot_u, I just reread your answer and it made me think that I should add a new paragraph to the Body text of my question to clarify something. Please see what I added. Basically, I think if there ever were training wheels made for a Segway, the metal part that the wheels were attached to would have been attached to the bottom frame of the Segway, instead of being directly attached to the control arm. $\endgroup$
    – user57467
    Commented Apr 16 at 0:45
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    $\begingroup$ I interpreted your original question to mean that the wheel mounting would be to the body of the device, not to the control arm. The same considerations apply, in that any such wheels would restrict the control authority, a good aspect, but the longer moment arm of the control bar would still easily overpower it. $\endgroup$
    – fred_dot_u
    Commented Apr 16 at 8:32
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The whole point of the Segway is that it dynamically vritualizes training wheels: it self-rights.

There is a failure mode for Segway operators, where the operator amplifies the training-wheel effect, until the training-wheel effect throws them off the Segway.

That failure mode would not be mitigated by putting hard-stops on the self-righting control. The operator would be thrown off by a hard-stop, in the same way that they are thrown off by a soft-stop, when the soft-stop becomes to hard for the operator to hang on.

The illustrated training-wheels could also be used as limiters for acceleration and deceleration. The Segway already has limits for speed and acceleration and deceleration, and, on request, can be further configured at the factory.

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