Japan's love affair with wacky mobility concepts continues as Toyota has begun public testing of the Winglet mobility assistance robot.

Japan's love affair with wacky mobility concepts continues as Toyota has begun public testing of the Winglet mobility assistance robot.

Essentially a less exciting Segway, the Winglet is described as a "lightweight two-wheeled machine that is ridden in a standing position and maneuvered using a long, vertical T-bar handle." It is powered by a lithium-ion battery which enables the model to travel up to six miles (10km) at speeds reaching 3.5 mph (6 km/h). When the battery is depleted, it can be fully recharged in about an hour.

The model will be tested in Tsukuba, Japan for the next three years to assess the Winglet's "safety, convenience and practicality." It will be used by 80 people who work for the city or the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology.

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