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Self-balancing scooter (6908 views - Transportation - Air Water Earth)

A self-balancing scooter (also "hoverboard", self-balancing board) is a self-balancing personal transporter consisting of two motorised wheels connected to a pair of articulated pads on which the rider places their feet. The rider controls the speed by leaning forwards or backwards, and direction of travel by twisting the pads. Invented in its current form in early 2013, the device is the subject of complex patent disputes. Volume manufacture started in China in 2014 and early units were prone to catch fire due to an overheating battery which resulted in product recalls in 2016, including one of 500,000 units sold in the United States from 8 manufacturers.
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Self-balancing scooter

Self-balancing scooter

Self-balancing scooter

Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 (NBC News (www.nbcnews.com)).

A self-balancing scooter (also "hoverboard", self-balancing board) is a self-balancing personal transporter consisting of two motorised wheels connected to a pair of articulated pads on which the rider places their feet. The rider controls the speed by leaning forwards or backwards, and direction of travel by twisting the pads.

Invented in its current form in early 2013, the device is the subject of complex patent disputes. Volume manufacture started in China in 2014 and early units were prone to catch fire due to an overheating battery which resulted in product recalls in 2016, including one of 500,000 units sold in the United States from 8 manufacturers.

History

Shane Chen, an American businessman and founder of Inventist filed a patent for a device of this type in February 2013[1] and launched a Kickstarter fund-raising campaign in May 2013[2] David Pierce suggested in a Wired article that the "Smart S1", a device by the Chinese technology company Chic Robotics holding various patents related to the scooter, could have been the first noting that the Hovertrax is "not quite the same thing".[3]

The Smart S1 was released in August 2014, and found success at the 2014 Canton Fair trade show. The devices' increasing popularity in Western countries has been attributed, initially, to endorsement by the wide array of celebrities (including Justin Bieber, Jamie Foxx, Kendall Jenner, Chris Brown, Soulja Boy and Wiz Khalifa).[3][4][5][6][7] The founders of the American company, PhunkeeTree, encountered the board at the Hong Kong Electronics Show, in 2014 and became involved in its distribution, shortly thereafter.[3]

By June 2015, the board was being made by several manufacturers, mainly in the Shenzhen region of China.[8] In January 2015 through Inventist, he announced his intention to pursue litigation[9] In April 2015, Ninebot, a significant manufacturer of devices acquired Segway Inc. (which separately asserted that it holds patents for self-balancing scooters.[citation needed]) in order to resolve the dispute.[10] In May Chen voiced his frustrations regarding patent rights in China.[11] In August 2015, Mark Cuban announced plans to purchase the Hovertrax patents from Chen.[12][12] Many of the units provided in the first year of manufacture were defective and likely to catch fire, resulting in a major product recall from multiple manufacturers during 2016 (more details below).[13][14][15][16]

In June 2016 the U.S. International Trade Commission issued an injunction for patent infringement against UPTECH, U.P. Technology, U.P. Robotics, FreeGo China, EcoBoomer, and Roboscooters. Robstep, INMOTION, Tech in the City, FreeGo settled with Segway.[17]

Etymology of "hoverboard"

The use of the term "hoverboard" to describe these devices, which don't actually hover, has led to considerable discussion in the media.[18][19][20]

The first use of the term for a A skateboard-like device that floats above the ground can be traced back to a 1967 science fiction novel by M. K. Joseph and subsequently popularized in the 1989 film, Back to the Future Part II where Marty McFly uses one in a fictional 2015.[21] While the first trademark use of hoverboard was registered in 1996 as a collecting and trading game, its first use as a commercial name representing a wheeled scooter was in 1999,[citation needed] and Guinness World Records lists a farthest hoverboard flight entry.[22] In September 2015 the Oxford English Dictionary stated in their view the term had not been in use in the context for long enough for inclusion and that for the time being they would restrict their description to boards that Marty McFly would recognize[23][24] The term "self-balancing electric scooter" remains popular.[25]

Design and operation

The device has two 6.5 inches (170 mm)-8 inches (200 mm) inch diameter wheels[26] connected to a self-balancing control mechanism using built-in gyroscopic and a sensor pad. By tilting the pad the rider can control the speed and direction of travel achieving speeds of between 6 miles per hour (9.7 km/h) and 13 miles per hour (21 km/h)[27] with a range of up to 12 miles (19 km) dependent on model, terrain, rider weight and other factors.[26]

As with most wheeled vehicles where the rider is exposed, Consumer Reports has recommended that users wear appropriate safety gear while using them.[28]

Issues and incidents

Defective power supply

There were many instances of units catching fire, with claims that they were responsible for numerous residential fires between late 2015 into 2016.[10] In the United Kingdom, authorities expressed concerns with the boards, regarding possible faulty wiring.[29] Many airlines banned the transportation of the boards, both as stored or carry-on luggage.[30]

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) launched an investigation into the safety of the device in late 2015[31] and determined that the lithium-ion battery packs in the self-balancing scooters/hoverboards could overheat and posed a risk of catching fire/exploding, and that defects had led to 60 fires in over 20 states.[32] In July 2016 the commission ordered the recall of over 500,000 units from 8 manufacturers. The Swagway X1 model constituted the majority of the recalled models, at 267,000 units.[33][34]

In January 2016 the Philippines, the Departments of Health and Trade and Industry issued a joint advisory cautioning the public against buying them, due to reports of injuries and "potential electrocution connected with its usage". The advisory also stated “as a precautionary measure, the DOH and DTI-Consumer Protection Group therefore advise parents against buying hoverboards for children under 14 years of age.”[35]

In May 2016, the miniPRO produced by Segway Inc. received UL certification, as did a company in Shenzhen, China.[10] In June 2016, after safety improvements in design, the UL-approved Swagtron was launched in the United States.[36]

See also



This article uses material from the Wikipedia article "Self-balancing scooter", which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0. There is a list of all authors in Wikipedia

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