Segway, the unfeasibly slow 'Human Transporter', is coming to the UK, courtesy of a distribution deal with BAE Systems.
This is not at first sight a match made in Heaven: BAE is the UK's biggest defence contractor, making the likes of guided missiles, and whizzy electronics stuffed into machines that kill. So can we expect an military assault version of the two-wheeled wonder?
Alas, no. BAE is responsible for the gyro system which makes the Segway stand upright, but in this instance, it is merely to market the machine in the defence and aerospace sectors, for which there are many applications. So says Dean Kamen, certified genius inventor and chairman of Segway LLC.
"The ability to move quicker, travel farther and carry more is critical to military operations. In tactical operations, the Segway HT can help to lessen soldier fatigue while expediting troop deployment. For logistical operations, the Segway HT consumes a fraction of the space and weight of other transportation alternatives and moves easily between indoor and outdoor applications."
Granted, motorised scooters are cheaper than tanks. And young soldiers these days need all the help they can get. We blame junk food and computer games. ®