The Toyota Winglet is undergoing trials now to see if its viable for production. To be fair, Segway builds beefy, powerful mobility machines compared to the Toyota Winglet. Toyota calls the Toyota Winglet a mobility assistance robot. The Toyota Winglet is a very small, compact mobility platform that has a range of up to six miles and a top speed of 3.5 mph. Recharging times are about an hour, so it looks like a smart tool for city dwellers who live within five-miles of their work.
Unlike the Segway, the Toyota Winglet is light enough to be carried when not in use. There is no word on Toyota Winglet pricing, that may come in 2016, if it’s produced. With that in mind: base model Segways start around $5,000 – $7,000, depending on your location. So, falling under the $5,000 mark is a reasonable guess.
“Winglet will be tested on the city’s pavements to assess its safety and practicality for moving among pedestrians. The trial will continue until March 2016, with the emphasis in the first year being safety and from 2014 on functionality, convenience and prospective public demand.
It will be used by 80 local authority workers and employees of the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology in a part of the city that has been hosting mobility robot test programmes since 2011.
Toyota first presented Winglet in 2008. It is a compact, lightweight two-wheeled machine that is ridden in a standing position and manoeuvred using a long, vertical T-bar handle. The handle is adjustable, so people of all heights can use the machine. When not in use, Winglet can simply be folded up and carried.
Winglet is powered by a lithium-ion battery and has a range of about six miles (10km) on a full charge. Top speed is around 3.5mph (6km/h), and battery charging takes an hour. Performance is emissions-free, so Winglet is also suitable for use in some indoor environments, for example in airports or office complexes” – – Toyota Media
Iv’e ridden on a Segway in the past and I noted that one issue was its weight and bulk. Next to using a pickup truck with a ramp, loading a Segway in a car for one person looked problematic. Price is an issue too. Segway’s prices can match an entry level car. So, if the trials for the Toyota Winglet prove favorable; bulk, stowage and price may improve in the mobility assistance robot market.
Speaking of electric mobility, check out this video of Roman as he pits a Tesla Model S against a Audi S8!