Xiaomi has invested in a Chinese robotic startup called Ninebot back in April this year and today introduced its first small Segway device product post the investment, the Ninebot mini. On the same day it revealed a $790, 60-inch 4K smartTV – Xiaomi Mi TV 3.
Although Xiaomi is a major investor in Ninebot, the China-based company that recently purchased Segway, and the Ninebot mini scooter would be the first and foremost device the companies have launched since the acquasition, and this self-balancing scooter looks a bit like the original, it costs less than a twentieth the price.
The Xiaomi Ninebot mini is a battery-powered scooter that can travel at speeds of up to 16km/h, and being a self-balancing auto, can climb inclines up to 15 degrees. Xiaomi claims that the scooter can travel up to 22km on a single charge. It’s portable at 12.8 kilograms (28 pounds) and “fits easily in the trunk of your car”.
In terms of functionality it is similar to a Segway, whereas one uses their legs to steer the scooter and Ninebot mini can do a 360-degree spin on the spot. Unlike the Segway though, Xiaomi Ninebot mini is quite a compact device, which only weighs in at 12.8kg, and is small enough to fit into a trunk of your car. It can be controlled via Bluetooth of your smartphone. You can lock the scooter with the phone and you will get the alerts and notifications.
Most impressive with the Xiaomi’s Ninebot mini scooter is that, you can also upgrade the firmware and monitor your speed, traffic data and systems via a smartphone. It’s smart and can connect to a hardware via an application and it acts like a speedometer, and shows traffic data or if there are any faults in the scooter.
The self-balancing device “Ninebot mini” is coming to China on November 3rd, but there’s no word on Xiaomi’s plan for a wider launch. Priced at 1,999 Yuan, which roughly translates to Rs 20,375. Buyers can also opt for an optional safety hear, which costs at 169 Yuan (Rs 1722 approx.). Ninebot has updated its French website with an offer to be “informed of the availability.” Means it will be sold in Europe, and may come to the US after all.