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RealTime IT News

A Balancing Act at Amazon

Have you seen that near-magical self-balancing scooter? It's called the Segway Human Transporter (HT) and the Postal Service in Tampa, Fla., is testing them for use by letter carriers. Now, the first units have been sold to private individuals, on Amazon.com.

Three limited-edition electric-powered personal transportation devices, made by Segway LLC in Manchester, N.H., were sold for a combined total of $364,800 in an auction on Seattle-based Amazon .

The money goes to FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), a non-profit organization founded by Dean Kamen to inspire an appreciation of science and technology in young people, their schools and communities. Kamen was instrumental in the development of the transporters.

Segway HT No. 1 sold to an individual in Texas for $160,100. Segway 2 sold to someone in Illinois for $104,100, and Segway 3 sold to someone in Virginia for $100,600.

"FIRST is an organization that inspires and excites students about math, engineering and science, and we are thrilled to have such an enthusiastic response to the Segway HT consumer models to support this cause," said Kamen, an inventor and Segway's chairman and CEO.

The short-distance travel device was invented to enhance the productivity of people by increasing the distance they can travel and the amount they can carry.