Reader Email: Why We Should Stop Picking on Segway


Dean Kamen is brilliant, but I've always felt Segways were kinda for lazy people. Well, I did think that, until I got this email from Allen, a segway using reader with a disability. Doh!

Hello Brian,

Let me start by saying that I love Gizmodo. I read it almost every day and frequently post in the comments section. The reason I'm writing to you is not to whine, but to make you aware (if you're not already) that a great number of disabled people use Segways instead of wheelchairs or mobility scooters. It may not always be apparent that a person has a disability, as is the case with me (severe ankle injury that didn't heal properly). I know that a lot of the anti-Segway sentiment assumes that everyone who owns or uses one is a lazy douchebag. While this may be true in some cases, I would bet that a higher percentage of non-commercial use (Police, security, etc) Segways are used by disabled or handicapped persons. In fact the only reason that Segways are not marketed as FDA certified mobility assist devices is that Dean Kamen sold the rights for the medical applications of the balancing technology to Johnson and Johnson before the Segway was ever released (the iBot wheelchair).

Again, I'm not whining, but all of the Giz posts seem to automatically assume that all Segway operators are fat, lazy, turds. This is a bit misleading and lacks insight. Check out www.segs4vets.com to see some of the good that Segways do for our disabled returning veterans. I don't care about apologies or anything like that, I just wanted you to know that these things do a lot of good for a lot of people.

Thanks!

Allen Ash

OK I FEEL REALLY BAD NOW!

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