The Witech self-balancing scooter is a cool concept that is essentially a Segway without the handlebars. The Witech comes with a 110 watt lithium-ion battery that will last for up to five hours on a one-hour charge, a 120-240v AC charger and a user’s manual. Before taking the Witech outside you should practice riding the scooter indoors, in a long hallway where your can reach out and touch the walls for support and balance.
Design and Operation
The Witech weighs roughly 30lbs and has a nice solid feel. The tires are solid rubber, so there are no flat tires to worry about. The Witech has twin pressure-sensitive motors, one for each wheel, that control maneuvering and respond to pressure by each foot, with pressure having to be balanced on both motors in order for the scooter to move. Each motor has a purple-colored indicator light that comes on when you stand on the pads. When turning, the light blinks and then automatically returns to continuous once the turn is complete.
To pick up speed you simply press down with your toes on the forward part of the foot pad. Likewise, when slowing down you simply press down with your heels. While this may take a little getting used to it quickly becomes intuitive.
Turning on the Witech is practically automatic, like leaning while riding a bicycle, and all you really have to do is think about turning the scooter and you turn. Once you get used to controlling the motors you will be are able to spin in a circle without moving forward.
Stopping becomes easy, with a little practice. The natural tendency when first learning to ride the Witech is to lean back when trying to stop, which can cause the scooter to keep moving forward. However, once you get used to just standing flat-footed, without putting pressure on your toes, stopping becomes automatic.
The Witech has a top speed of around 14mph, which is almost twice as fast as the fastest human can run, and the scooter handles small bumps and potholes well, but cannot jump over curbs. The scooter navigates hills well and there is no concern over the Witech picking up too much speed when going downhill as the motor controls limit the speed of the scooter to the maximum motor speed.
The Witech rides great indoors or out, on carpet, hardwood floors, asphalt, short grass and smooth dirt, however the wheels will hang up in long grass or loose dirt, and this may damage the scooter. The Witech does not work on gravel or rough-paved surfaces.
The important thing to bear in mind when riding the Witech is to remain relaxed and allow your body to maintain a balanced posture to intuitively control the device. During the learning stages it is easy to make the scooter do something you didn’t intend, like making a turn or picking up speed, but trying to force an action will only throw off your balance, and that can be extremely frustrating. Try to refrain from the natural tendency to lean back when you first start out.
Overall, this little scooter is a major blast to ride and a great way to get around campus, the local neighborhood streets or park, or even to work. If you just take it for short rides you will probably only have to charge the scooter once a week, or so. Once you are past the initial learning curve, which is real very short, the Witech will seem like an extension of your legs and is worth the money.