Segway’s mini (and adorable) personal transporter Loomo is now available on Indiegogo with an estimated delivery date of May 2018. We first saw Loomo at one of the best innovation conferences, CES, where Paul Miller rode around on the AI-powered, hoverboard-like Segway bot.
The Loomo looks different and is more compact than a traditional Segway. Apart from being smaller, it has transformed from just a self-balancing rideable to a friendly robot that responds to commands. It’s also designed to look for faces and bodies to track, so if you say, “Loomo, follow me,” it should follow you autonomously. The company worked with BMW’s self-driving car team so Loomo should “park” itself on its own.
The Segway Loomo is surprisingly stable, even when leaning back to stop quickly, though the company does insist that users wear a helmet while riding. It took me only around 10 minutes to get comfortable atop the device (and figure out the whole knee-turning thing). It has a top speed of 11 mph and a range of around 22 miles; its battery can be refilled using a standard outlet in about three hours. What’s more, it can handle up to 15-degree inclines as well as some light off-roading across grass and soil, but you are going to want to avoid running it off curbs and down flights of stairs because, again, it’s a 42-pound hoverboard.
The retail price for Loomo is $1,799, but the early bird Indiegogo price is $1,299, putting it in a comparable range with other rideables. (Bet your rideable doesn’t have a face, though.) Unlike most crowdfunding projects, Segway is an established company that probably doesn’t even need crowdfunding to support Loomo in the first place, and is likely using Indiegogo to attract a niche audience. Still, use your own judgment and caution when funding a project upward of $1,300.