Issued: (Utility) Apparatus and Method for Control of a Vehicle
General Motors contracted with Segway to develop a 2 person, side-by-side seated balancing prototype for the Shanghai World Expo. The project was a year long sprint that led up to the evolution of the balancing architecture. With the addition of the sliding degree of freedom between the propulsion system and the payload, we realized additional safety measures that could be used to minimize the on-board propulsive capability of the system. Traditionally, balancing vesicle architectures and third points of contact with the ground are a bad idea. For example, a rigid, non-retracting, kickstand on a motorcycle would be a very dangerous when contacting the ground on a inside turn. The same is true for a Segway EN-V if the landing gear were to contact the ground when approaching a hill or incline.
This project solved that issue and many others, check out what happened here: