By Andrew Liszewski
While the Segway hasn’t really caught on the way its makers had hoped it’s nice to see the technology and concepts behind the device catching on elsewhere. The Tango was created by high school students Ben Gulak and Jason Morrow who represented Team Canada at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in Albuquerque, New Mexico this year. Think of the Tango as a self-balancing, compact version of a racing motorcycle with a bit more kick than even the fastest Segway model.
Riding the Tango is just like riding a racing bike though instead of having the wheels mounted in the front and back they actually sit side by side in the middle of the bike. Using accelerometers the Tango detects the subtle movements of the rider which are used to control the vehicle. Like with the Segway you just lean forward to drive forward or lean left and right in order to turn. Since the Tango is electric powered it produces zero emissions but it also means a top speed of only 40 miles an hour. So while speed freaks should look elsewhere, commuters living in a crowded city center might soon have another transportation alternative.
Unfortunately Ben and Jason didn’t win the top prize at the Intel ISEF but they did manage to get a lot of publicity which will hopefully attract investors and get more people excited about their concept.