Toyota Winglet "personal transport assistant robot"

Toyota loves coming up with concepts that, if they are ever made, could mean hoards on commuters speeding along the streets on "personal transport assistant robots".

We've had the iReal, but here's the latest - the Winglet.

You ride standing up on the device, which has two wheels and an internal sensor that constantly monitors the user’s position, and makes power adjustments to ensure stability.

The Winglet's actual body has a projected area the size of an A3 sheet of paper and houses an electric motor, two wheels and the internal sensors.

What's nifty is that the Winglet has a parallel link mechanism, which allows the rider to go forward, backward and turn simply by shifting body weight.

Toyota has created three models, the "L", "M" and "S", each having different handling features varying from "practical" to "hands-free sporty".

Tests of the Winglet are planned to begin in Autumn 2008 at Central Japan International Airport (Centrair) near Nagoya, and Laguna Gamagori, a seaside marine resort complex in Aichi Prefecture.