WPI is First University in World to Use Segway Human Transporters
WPI Incorporating Segway HTs into Campus Police Patrols and Admissions Tours
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE/December 16, 2002
Contact: WPI Media Relations, 508-831-5616
Worcester, Mass. - December 16, 2002 - Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) is the first university in the world to implement use of the SegwayTM Human Transporter (HT) after acquiring three Segway HTs this fall.
WPI's Campus Police Department has already started using two of the Segway HTs to make patrols around WPI's 80-acre main campus easier. Use of the Segway HTs is expected to open relations between officers and students-acting as an icebreaker to spark conversations and make officers more approachable.
The Admissions Department at WPI plans on using its Segway HT for activities like hosting campus tours, open houses, college nights and other special events.
In preparation for using the Segway HTs, five members of WPI's Campus Police Department and six members of the admissions staff (including WPI student guides) successfully completed the Segway HT two-day training at Segway's Bedford, New Hampshire facility last month.
"This is not a test run. We are past that step and are incorporating Segway HTs into regular, everyday activities on campus," said Edward Alton Parrish, WPI president. "They are extremely practical-making many of our everyday tasks much simpler. They also illustrate to our students (the science and technology leaders of tomorrow) that the unimaginable is possible. As such, we were ecstatic to be the first university to use them in day-to-day operations.
Dr. Parrish has had considerable experience riding the Segway HT, having used it to welcome incoming freshman and their families this past August, as well as greeting visitors at several high school open houses on campus.
Dean Kamen, creator of the Segway HT and chairman of Segway LLC, attended WPI. In addition, the university has long collaborated with Kamen in supporting his non-profit organization FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) by hosting tournaments and having faculty and staff coach numerous teams. FIRST was created by Kamen to inspire in young people, their schools and communities an appreciation of science and technology.
The Segway HT is the world's first self-balancing human transporter that allows people to go anywhere a person can walk. Its advanced technology uses gyroscopes and tilt sensors to emulate human balance. When a person leans slightly forward, the Segway HT moves forward. When leaning back, the Segway HT moves back. Riders can comfortably cruise at six to eight miles per hour on sidewalks and paths, which is about two to three times walking speed. The Segway HT can travel a distance that ranges from 11 to 15 miles on a single charge.
Segway LLC is a Manchester, NH, based business founded by renowned inventor and entrepreneur Dean Kamen to provide a solution to short-distance travel. The company has created the SegwayTM Human Transporter (HT), the first self-balancing, electric-powered transporter designed to enhance the productivity of people by increasing the distance they can travel and the amount they can carry. Segway is funded by: Credit Suisse First Boston Private Equity, one of the largest managers of alternative assets in the world, through Credit Suisse First Boston Equity Partners, L.P. and associated funds; Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, the leading venture capital firm helping entrepreneurs build sustainable technology businesses; and individual investors. For additional information about Segway, please visit the web site. Press releases and digital images are available at Segway's press center.
About Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Founded in 1865, WPI is a pioneer in technological higher education. WPI was the first university to understand that students learn best when they have the opportunity to apply the knowledge they gain in the classroom to the solution of important problems. Today its students, working in teams at more than 20 project centers around the globe, put their knowledge and skills to work as they complete professional-level work that can have an immediate positive impact on society.
WPI's innovative, globally focused curriculum has been recognized by leaders in industry, government and academia as the model for the technological education of tomorrow. Students emerge from this program as true technological humanists, well rounded, with the confidence, the interpersonal skills and the commitment to innovation they need to make a real difference in their professional and personal lives.
The university awarded its first advanced degree in 1898. Today, its first-rate research laboratories support master's and Ph.D. programs in more than 30 disciplines in engineering, science and the management of technology. Located in the heart of the region's biotechnology and high-technology sectors, WPI has built research programs-including the largest industry/university alliance in North America-that have won it worldwide recognition.
SegwayTM is a trademark of Segway LLC in the United States and in other countries.
Media note: To schedule a time to view a Segway HT in action on the WPI campus, contact the WPI Media Relations at 508-831-5706 and firstname.lastname@example.org.