Like the mythical half-horse, half-man of Greek lore, Concept
Centaur combines the best of several technologies to create
an innovative whole. The result of exploration by Segway Inc.'s
product development team, Concept Centaur will challenge the
way you think about four-wheeled transportation.
From time to time Segway's product development team devotes
days, or even weeks, to creating new product concepts with
the goal of finding a prince among frogs. It's a product exploration
process they call "frog kissing." During this time,
engineers and designers are encouraged to use any available
materials in a very short time frame to prove a concept will
The product development team demonstrated that
Concept Centaur was a princea concept that passed this
initial feasibility test, but is not yet ready to become a
product. Concept Centaur demonstrates Segway's continued commitment
to breakthrough innovation and the innumerable possibilities
for the future of personal transportation.
Concept Centaur combines proprietary dynamic stabilization
technology with advanced propulsion and suspension systems,
and an intuitive user interface to create a unique four-wheel
device that is easily controllable on two or four wheels.
Its full suspension and aggressive rider positioning provide
an exhilarating ride for one or two people while maintaining
control over a variety of terrain. Its rugged performance,
zero emissions, and quiet operation make it a good low-impact
way to explore the world. Its power and versatility make it
suitable for a variety of indoor and outdoor recreational
and commercial applications.
Intuitive user controls:
Simultaneous mechanical and drive-by-wire steering:
- Thumbs forward: The Centaur's forward and backward propulsion
is easily controlled by pushing a thumb throttle located
on the underside of the right-hand handlebar.
a wheelie: The Centaur uses dynamic
stabilization technology to limit and/or maintain the
angle at which the rider experiences the device. What would
normally be a dangerous maneuver on a motorcycle or ATV
becomes safe and controlled on the Centaur. In addition,
the rider can position his/her body in three different ways,
which makes for a fun ride. This technology also allows
for a high-performance design with a short, compact wheelbase
- a combination that traditionally can be very difficult
- Lean forward, go forward: If you've haven't yet experienced
the Segway PT, now is the time. If you have, you know what
we mean by intuitive controls. Concept Centaur uses dynamic
stabilization in a similar way. When on two wheels, the
Centaur is controlled by how the rider shifts his or her
weight. To go forward, lean forward. To go back, lean back.
- Smart steering: The front two wheels turn left and right
mechanically, which is made possible by an innovative linkage
system designed by Segway engineers. The Centaur's advanced
controls software also allows the rear wheels to turn at
different rates in response to data received from the rider's
steering direction. When on two wheels, steering is accomplished
in the same manner, by turning the handlebar. Sensors in
the vertical portion of the steering column monitor the
rider's input and sends a signal to the controller boards,
which then issue a command to drive either or both of the
rear wheels. Turning rate is coordinated so that even with
the wheels off the ground, Centaur follows the path defined
by the front wheel angles. This allows smooth transitions
between two-wheel and four-wheel operation.
Distinctive design, elegant suspension:
- No exhaust: Batteries power the Centaur, so
there are no emissions during operation. In addition, the Centaur uses regenerative
braking, which means the batteries are recharged during
deceleration and hill descents.
- Quiet: Electric motors and an innovative gearbox design
result in a quiet ride.
- Low-impact tires: The Centaur prototypes use the same
non-marking silica-based tires as the Segway PTs'. These
tires are smooth, which allows the rider to perform exciting
maneuvers while having little impact on the terrain.
- A profile X-shape: The profile of the Centaur creates
an "X." Right after the Centaur was crowned a
prince by the engineers, they quickly pulled in Segway's
industrial design team to integrate their vision into the
product's form and function. What resulted is a concept
with a sleek minimalist design that elegantly showcases
the rider, leaving the simple mechanical elegance of the
underlying design visible.
- Three shocks: There are three shocks on the Centaur that
absorb bumps and help the wheels maintain contact with the
ground. There is one in each front "arm" and one
in the rear.
- Lightweight: Concept Centaur only weighs about 150 pounds
and can be easily transported in the back of a large SUV
or small pick-up truck. If developed, its light weight would
allow for transport on the back of small cars through a
hitch-mounted rack, similar to that used for carrying bicycles.
How fast does it go?
Concept Centaur prototypes have gone just over 20 miles per
hour. If Concept Centaur were to be manufactured in the future,
more testing would be required to determine the appropriate
How much does it cost?
Since Concept Centaur is just thata conceptthey aren't for
sale. At the present time, Segway Inc. has no plans to manufacture
or sell this as a product.
will it be available?
At present time, Segway Inc. has no plans to manufacture the
Centaur. All new Segway products will be posted to our website
as they are released. If you'd like, you may send an e-mail
and include your name, address, and phone number to be notified
of any additional information on Concept Centaur. This address
is not monitored by a person, so please do not send any other
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