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Toyota unveils Segway-killer

The Toyota Winglet
The Toyota Winglet

Toyota has unveiled a new line of personal transporter products, or what you could very well call 'Segway killers', called the Toyota Winglet.

The Winglet is described as a "personal transport assistance robot ridden in a standing position" and is currently still being refined in Toyota's labs.

The Winglet features a 10.4 x 18-inch footprint (around the size of an A3 sheet of paper) and comes in three different models – small, medium and large (1.5-, 2.2-, or 3.7-feet tall), enabling "consumers to select a model appropriate to their needs—from "practical" to "hands-free sporty"."

Weight-shifting control

The Winglet is controlled by the user shifting their weight to move forward and back or to turn.

Practical tests of the Winglet's " utility as a mobility tool" kick off later this autumn at Central Japan International Airport (Centrair) near Nagoya, and Laguna Gamagori, a seaside marine resort complex in Aichi Prefecture.

Danger! Crowds!

More worryingly, Toyota also informs us that "testing of its usefulness in crowded and other conditions, and how non-users react to the device, is to be carried out in 2009 at the Tressa Yokohama shopping complex in Yokohama City."

TechRadar will be on hand at one of the above tests to try out the Winglet for ourselves.

Stay tuned for our 'feet on' preview. Toyata aims to have Winglets commercially available within the next few years.