As gas prices rise, more and more people are beginning to resort to scooters and personal mobility devices. Toyota apparently wanted a stake in this market and put their robotics team to work, the final design being a smaller and more agile version of the Segway.
Toyota named the device the "Winglet" and plans to offer 3 different sizes. According to Toyota it was designed as a "compact everyday transport tool" that will extend the range of the average person. A small base will be set between 2 wheels powered by a small electric motor. Sensors will keep track of your vertical angle and provide movement from that measurement, at the same time ensuring a stable ride.
The Winglet can be ordered in either a small, medium or large depending on the size of the person who will be using it. The medium and large sizes will feature a set of handlebars reaching to right below your chest, while the small version will have a set of padded grips that you hold between your knees. This has been dubbed "hands-free sporty."
The design is not yet complete, but Toyota is estimating a release date of 2010. They are currently working on prototypes for consumer trials and more extensive testing.
Source : MotorTrend