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Live hands-free on this UL 2272 certified self-balancing scooter from the world's leading brand of electric personal transportation. With its unique knee control bar the miniPRO allows you more interaction with your environment than any other two wheel ride. The miniPRO is not a toy; it was developed with advanced balancing technology that reads your movements via complex algorithms, sensors and processors at 200 times per second and reacts accordingly.
Featuring a powerful lithium battery for sustainable power, the miniPRO can travel up to 25km on a single 2-3hr charge, hit a max speed of 16kph, take on slopes of up to 15 degrees and accommodate riders up to 120kg. At a portable size of 55cm tall and only 13kg, it can easily fit into any vehicle. Even more impressive, riders may use their smartphone to upgrade the miniPRO's firmware to monitor speed, enable a tamper alarm or even remotely operate their miniPRO via bluetooth. The remote driving feature allows for complete control over the miniPRO's speed and turning radius.
• Bluetooth Connectivity - Bluetooth remote control and firmware upgrades via Ninebot App
• Compact for Easy Storage - Quickly remove the knee control bar for easy storage in almost any vehicle
• High Performance - 800 Watt Direct-Drive Dual Motors with 70Nm of Torque
• Weight - approx. 13 kg
• Size - 26 cm x 55 cm
• Max Speed - 16 km/h
• Range - 25 km*
*Depends on riding style and terrain
I thought I loved the Segway i2... but after just 10 minutes on this wee beastie - 9 of which were spent hooning around giggling like a madman because it only took a minute to master it - I knew I simply HAD to get one of these for an extended period of time to really put through its paces, especially as it has remote drive functionality and I had an idea for using my tablet (connected through WiFi to a ReplayXD PrimeX Sports Camera that I had mounted on the steering column) to give me a drivers'-eye-view and my phone to control the miniPRO remotely. This concept worked very well, despite a bit of lag on the video side of things.
So... what's the big deal about this unit? For a start, it's genuine Segway - so it has a great pedigree behind it, service standards that greatly exceed the cheap knock-offs you buy for a couple of hundred at expos, and it's got some serious extras through the power of the companion app. Such treats as real-time feedback on power usage, estimated travel distance remaining, speed readouts (and limiting, in case you let the kids ride it too), plus a number of customisation options.
On top of that, you can join a worldwide community of Segway riders, share stats, earn rankings, set up security features... and as mentioned earlier, drive it remotely. All from the comfort of your smartphone or tablet. "Remote drive?! Does that mean someone could hijack it while I'm riding it?!" Relax, fear thee not. The designers have already covered that... if the unit detects someone standing on it, the remote-drive function immediately deactivates, no matter who is trying to connect to it.
Charging is simple... but honestly, not QUITE as simple as with the larger units. This is the reality of having such a compact and lightweight unit. The power adaptor is a stand-alone box that you have to carry with you on prolonged trips, but that is why this unit weighs in at just 12.8kg. Still, with a 3 hour charge I was able to comfortably ride 24kms around town in one day, stop off at a chain fast food outlet to filch on the free WiFi and power to recharge the unit for an hour, and that gave me enough juice to ride the 5.6km back to home base with a couple of bars on the power meter to spare. Colour me impressed - public transport could be a thing of the past (for me, at any rate) sooner than anticipated.
When it comes to using this beastie, the key demographic is of course the tech-snobs and people with mobility issues that will let them stand but who find walking to be more than they can cope with. Still, these are very neat little personal transports if the weather is behaving itself - I wouldn't enjoy it in the rain and I would seriously NOT advise riding it in high winds. SO... yeah, anyone who wants a fun way to travel short to moderate distances faster than walking will find this a novel and entertaining way to make those journeys. With a top speed of 16kph you are moving at nearly three times average walking pace, and 3/4 of a full on sprint... and you can maintain that pace for well over an hour on a full charge.
Being a responsible parent who has an active and thrill-seeking child, I decided to give my youngest son a chance to try it out in a safe environment. Popping it in the boot of the car, we drove to a nearby lake-side parking lot that was nearly empty, seldom visited at that time of day, and had plenty of "interesting" terrain for me to ride on, but also a good sized flat parking lot for him. As you can see from the photo linked above, he had a blast! Zooming around at just 5kph - the maximum speed I had set for him using the app on my phone - doing "Superman" poses, flapping his arms, and yelling "Yahooo!" constantly, the adjustable steering column comfortable for him at its lowest position.
Overall, this is one of the neatest gadgets I have had the pleasure of trying out in recent years, and its one I will be using as a benchmark for "fun" to measure all others against for quite some time yet, I imagine. When I first saw this unit at a homeshow late last year, the RRP was around $2,500. Since then I have heard there has been a price drop due to a number of factors, so there's a great deal here for anyone willing and able to put aside the cost of a high-end smartphone! Given the choice between a new phone and this... I would choose this!
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