Street Use

Guns on Segways


Anti-terrorist demonstration in Jinan, China. (BigPicture)

When the lovable Segway was unveiled, who would have guessed that its chief street use would be a platform for cops and soldiers.  Here’s Paul Saffo on the phenomenon:

It is always fascinating to see once-cuddly technologies turn dark.  Consider the Segway, that sweetly geeky gizmo that was supposed to drive autos out of our cities and save the planet.  Well, Segways have arrived, but instead of transporting happy auto-eschewing citizens on their daily errands, the Segway has become  the personal chariot of cops  adopting the gyro-stabilized two-wheeler for patrol and crowd control work.  Seqway-riding security dudes are turning up at airports and convention centers, and now are finding their way into the security mix at lock-down events like the G8 Summit and the upcoming Beijing Olympics.  No cuddly here, just pure menace, like the rent-a-samurai in full battle rattle riding a nobby-tired industrial Segway at the this month’s G8 summit (pic below). Watching the transformation is like discovering that one’s favorite teddy bear has fangs and a taste for human flesh. Before long, I’ll bet we’ll see squads of Segway cops in full riot gear running down fleeing demonstrators at some future anti-globalization demonstration.

Some of the pics Saffo has collected and captioned:


The G8’s rent-a-samurai and his timid sidekick.

2632177998 37264B266A

I  wonder how the Segway handles recoil? (Flickr)

Case Ventura

The Ventura county sheriff’s gyro-bomb squad. (Segway)


A Segway with training wheels for the vertically challenged.

Segway I2Police Twoofficers

Last one to the Dunkin’ Donuts is a rotten egg!

And a few others:

So-Segway-Article Page 1


100 2993-Segway Police

In Mexico City (Jason)

Segway Cops

You need a good belt. (Wilisms)


Nice off-road tires at Yale University (Yale)

Posted on July 18, 2008 at 8:37 pm | comments

  • Steve L.

    The GM PUMA is already drawing fire as GM’s feeble attempt at a green vehicle but I don’t think it’s going to catch on. The GM PUMA is a two wheeled seated electric scooter, co-designed by some of the team that designed the Segway scooter. It’s likely going to cost a payday loan or two to get, at least, as it is designed to be a full service city vehicle. Interest isn’t taking off yet – but it’s still in the development phase. If it does take off, perhaps the taxpayers won’t have to give GM another payday loan because of the success of the GM PUMA.

  • SegGlider

    Thanks for sharing these photos. As someone ppointed out, one of those isn’t a Segway. You’re one of the few who seem not to really favor Segway, but this article is not packed with ignorance, just an opinion. Thanks again for sharing.

  • e

    The “American Chariot”.

    I used to see one of these locked up next to bicycles near their offices in San Francisco. Ran into the guy whose “PTV” it was one day and had a chat with him about it. I didn’t realize how serious they were until he told me they had actually sold a bunch to various police agencies….?

    I’ve never seen one in use in the cities I hang out in, SF, Seattle, Portland…but then I don’t get out much.

  • Stephen

    re “A Segway with training wheels for the vertically challenged.”

    That is actually a vehicle.