Almost everyone who has seen Tron Legacy comes out thinking one thing: “I want a Light Cycle.” Unfortunately, they don’t exist.
But I now have created the next-best thing: a Segway i2 Personal Transporter (PT) customized to look as if it just glided right off the Grid.
Yes, I realize that by customizing my Segway in the style of Tron I have managed to add even more nerdiness to an already ultra-nerdy mode of transportation. But I think it’s pretty darn awesome.
Here’s a video of it in action:
And yeah, I had to make a Tron-like video too, complete with fake monitor scan lines and a wash of blue light. Go ahead, call me a nerd. I’ll wait.
Update (1/11/11): Today proved to be a popular day for my Tron Segway. It was featured on Gizmodo, in the Wired.com Gadget Lab and was even tweeted about by Tron Legacy star Olivia Wilde.
Her thoughts? “You’re welcome, world.”
A couple more photos of the Tron Segway:
Wouldn’t this thing look great gliding through ElecTRONica at the Disney California Adventure theme park? (Too bad Disney doesn’t allow guests to bring Segways into the parks. And I live in Florida, not California…)
Making of the Tron Segway
So how did I transform the Segway into something one step short of a Light Cycle? Honestly, I didn’t change all that much on it. The Segway is already a pretty futuristic device and would instantly fit in with the world of Tron without any modifications.
And that’s it! To plan the design, I first took pictures of the front and back of the Segway:
Then I sifted through a bunch of Tron Legacy images before I decided to model my design after this costume:
I brought the Segway pictures into Photoshop and mocked up the design:
After completing and printing the design, I sat down with my roll of reflective tape and scissors and begin to piece it together, strip-by-strip. Here’s what it looked like halfway through:
The reflective tape looks plain white under normal ambient light, but when hit directly by a light beam, it reflects brightly back and resembles the glowing Tron Legacy costumes, Light Cycles, and everything else on the Grid:
Here’s a closer look at the pattern on the wheel shields:
Finally I moved on to adding blue LED lights to give the Tron Segway some kind of glow even when the tape wasn’t reflecting light. I had recently purchased several sets of battery-powered lights during Target’s after-Christmas clearance sale at just $3 each.
The round Segway logo in the front easily pops off, snaps back on and has convenient slots running around it, so it was simple to insert the LEDs, fasten them with electrical tape, and close it back up:
I placed the battery box and switch for the lights just behind the lean bar, between where my feet go while riding the Segway. Again, it’s fastened only by electrical tape. It’s a temporary solution until I find a more appropriate adhesive or mount.
The completed Tron Segway
All in all, the transformation from “ordinary” Segway i2 into my new Tron Segway took around 4 hours, including design, planning, and installation. Shooting these photos and creating the video took another couple hours. I should also mention that the light-up disc featured in the photo at the top of this article is not part of the customization. I placed it there just to make the photo look even more awesome.
Here are some more pictures of it all put together:
And before you rank me up there with Tron Guy, I’ll mention that these additions to the Segway are not just for looks. They do add a great deal of safety to it, as I will now feel better about gliding around at night knowing that I’ll be quite visible to cars as their headlights reflect off of the newly-added details - and I’ll be sporting bright blue LED headlights of my own.
Comment below and let me know what you think!