Segway’s mini personal transporter Loomo is now available on Indiegogo among other platforms, with an estimated delivery date of May 2018. We first saw the Loomo at CES, where Paul Miller rode around on the AI-powered, hoverboard-like Segway bot.
The Loomo looks different and is more compact than a traditional Segway. Apart from being smaller, it has transformed from just a self-balancing rideable to a friendly robot that responds to commands. It’s also designed to look for faces and bodies to track, so if you say, “Loomo, follow me,” it should follow you autonomously. The company worked with BMW’s self-driving car team so Loomo should “park” itself on its own.Like most things, Loomo comes with an app, which allows you to do things like move the robot around, see from the robot’s point of view, speak phrases you type in, follow people around, and take photos and video. The company plans to continue adding new commands to Loomo, and has made the Android SDK available so anyone can create their own skills. A drag-and-drop interface is planned to be released this summer, so those who are a little less familiar with programming experience can teach themselves to teach Loomo new tricks.The retail price for Loomo is $1,799, but the early bird Indiegogo price is $1,299, putting it in a comparable range with other rideables. (Bet your rideable doesn’t have a face, though.) Unlike most crowdfunding projects, Segway is an established company that probably doesn’t even need crowdfunding to support Loomo in the first place, and is likely using Indiegogo to attract a niche audience. Still, use your own judgment and caution when funding a project upward of $1,300.