Yes, the Segway is lame. But then, the Segway can’t fly. If it could, I wouldn’t judge its owners so harshly. Say hello to the VertiPod, which is basically just that. You stand on it and steer it around, and my leaning in one direction or another it’ll point you in that direction. It all sounds terribly dangerous, and I want one.
The VertiPod looks a bit like a one-passenger helicopter turned upside-down. Its propeller is on the bottom and the pilot stands on a platform built around it with back support and controls at waist-level.
It is powered by a 440-cubic-centimeter engine that runs on gasoline or ethanol and can be activated with a pull-start, like a lawnmower. The VertiPod is intended to travel five to 4.5 metres above ground at a top speed of 64 km/h. Bitar said it will be sold for $US10,000 in a kit that can be assembled in a weekend.
“It actually flies, unlike a hovercraft, which is just a ground effect,” Bitar said. “It could have applications for law enforcement, especially border patrol, but it will also be available to the consumer market.”