Sony has applied for a patent on a powered skateboard that uses similar balancing technology to the Segway transporter.
The board has two wheels on either side of the step board and uses computers to keep the rider steady. It is steered by the rider leaning in the direction of travel, which is picked up by pressure sensors in the base.
"The vehicle can travel straight and/or turn in response to the movement of the rider's weight, and hence it is possible to provide an interesting vehicle which can be moved and steered by only moving rider's balance," says the patent application.
Sony's application also raises the possibility of the entire base board becoming one big sensor.
By passing a weak current through the plastic base, any compression caused by the rider alters the electrical flow, providing the data needed to keep the board stable.
The design is similar to Dean Kamen's Segway, but without the stand for balance and steering.
Sony plans Segway-style skateboard
By Iain Thomson on Jan 8, 2007 9:39AM