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Okay! Okay! This is what everyone reckons Ginger is

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They started coming in on Friday. Then kept on coming on Saturday and Sunday and yet more have arrived this morning. Look, we were trying to ignore this Ginger fiasco that has turned the IT press into a bunch of gibbering school kids, but it's an unwritten rule at Vulture Central that when more than 200 emails arrive saying the same thing, you write a story on it.

And so, this is what Ginger is reckoned to be. Some wobbly bird on what looks like an old-fashioned carpet sweeper. But the wrong way round. No doubt the inspiration came from childhood memories where every item of household equipment is turned into a transportation device - as long as you can stand on it without falling off.

Basically, it's a scooter, following the recent trend for everyone to get those little metal things, but it's stable so you won't kill yourself. The thought process behind the belief that this is what Ginger is fairly logical: The inventor, Dean Kamen, mostly invents stuff in the medical arena. He has invented a fancy balancing wheelchair. He has also worked on an external combustion engine. Combine the two.

Kamen's company is called Deka and this scooter thing has been patented by that company not too long ago. Oh, and it has been referred to as "IT" - which was what presumably sent the IT press into their mouth-frothing madness. As one reader suggested IT = Individual Transport?

So click here for the Deka version or here for the United States patent office version. Then go through the pages if you want to know more.

This is the abstract for the invention: "The invention provides, in a preferred embodiment, a vehicle for transporting a human subject over ground having a surface that may be irregular. This embodiment has a support for supporting the subject. A ground-contacting module, movably attached to the support, serves to suspend the subject in the support over the surface. The orientation of the ground-contacting module defines fore-aft and lateral planes intersecting one another at a vertical.

"The support and the ground-contacting module are components of an assembly. A motorized drive, mounted to the assembly and coupled to the ground-contacting module, causes locomotion of the assembly and the subject therewith over the surface. Finally, the embodiment has a control loop, in which the motorized drive is included, for dynamically enhancing stability in the fore-aft plane by operation of the motorized drive in connection with the ground-contacting module."

Alternatively, you could go to other news sites if you'd like to read some panting, baseless beliefs over what it will do. ®

Related Links

Ginger in all its glory (Deka)
Ginger, the patent office version

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Ginger nuts told to back off
We know what Ginger is

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