Sunday, July 06, 2008

Armed Anti-terrorist Segways for Beijing Olympics

China armed police on SegwaysIn what must be one of the more bizarre policing techniques, Chinese police have been reported to be practicing shooting their sub-machine guns while steering a Segway type people transporter with their knees. These appear to be the standard model of Segways, not modified. The company also makes a Segway i2 Police model, with bars over the tires and a carry bag on the handlebars and the x2 Police, with balloon tires for off-road use.
The anti-terrorist forces were also equipped with battery-powered segways, each about a meter high and with two wheels.

The segways allowed the armed police to control direction and speed by changing the gravity center, leaving their hands free to shoot, said Huang Shan, a provincial special force vice head.

"With a speed of up to 20 kilometers per hour, the vehicle helps transport troops and shoot accurately, fast and silently." ...

From: Unmanned drones to serve security forces during Olympics, Xinhua News Agency, 2008-07-03 22:55:45
The ability to steer with no hands would be useful for police, but having to clutch the steering column with your knees would not make for a comfortable ride, or a steady platform to fire a gun from. Perhaps a bicycle type seat needs to be attached to the Segway, to allow the rider to sit down. This could be elegantly added to the Segway's steering column, where it bends about one third the way up.

For less crowded areas, a motor-scooter might be a better idea than a Segway. The Greek police have two people on one scooter (presumably so one can drive and the other take action). These look a little cramped and something like the Piaggio MP3 three-wheeled scooter would have more room and carrying capacity.

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