The name Segway is synonymous with tech failure. After all, inventor Dean Kamen once believed that his two-wheeled scooters would become an alternative to cars. He pictured a future where people buzzed to the grocery store, library, or work on their Segway PT scooters.

That vision hasn’t quite come to fruition and it’s pretty infrequent that you see someone using a Segway. They’re still around and have recently observed their 10th anniversary. So while they might be classified as a tech failure, they are still alive and kicking.

How do they work though? Below we’ll examine the tech behind the Segway.

Powering the Segway

Each Segway PT is powered by electric motors that are, in turn, fueled by phosphate-based lithium-ion batteries. Segway owners may charge these batteries by plugging their Segways into common residential electrical sockets. The device doesn’t tip over due to its two computers loaded with proprietary software, pair of tilt sensors, and five gyroscopic sensors.

Making the Segway Move

The user plays the largest role in making the Segway move. By simply shifting your weight in the direction you would like to go and moving the handlebars a little, the Segway’s sensors identify the change in balance point and react appropriately. The latest version of the Segway features a top speed of 12.5 MPH. For obvious reason, it functions best on flat surfaces.

Lowered Expectations

The hype was pretty big around the Segway when it was initially announced, but it never quite lived up to it all.  Some even believed that the Segway would be more popular than the Internet as a whole!

However, once the Segway was released many thought it looked odd and you looked weird riding one. Others thought it looked unsafe. Regardless, the negatives were enough to keep the Segway from reaching its stated potential.