Segway Robot is part hoverboard and part bionic butler

CES 2016: Segway's latest personal transportation device doubles as a robotic companion (+ movie).

Ninebot by Segway

The Segway Robot was created in collaboration with tech companies Intel and Ninebot, and unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas this week.

Ninebot by Segway

Similar to Segway's earlier self-balancing scooters, the design features two wheels either side of a standing platform and a central vertical element.

Ninebot by Segway

But at the touch of a button, the machine converts into a robot that can understand voice commands, follow its owner, and record and send video.

Ninebot by Segway

The company describes the device as "a Segway that sees the world and a robot that gives you a ride".

"Segway Robot can navigate and follow, and he is extendable with many exciting possibilities," it added.

Ninebot by Segway

Once activated, a tilting screen at the top turns 90 degrees to becomes the robot's head and displays two circles to look like eyes.

Ninebot by Segway

Arms can emerge from its sides for it to handle objects and perform tasks like helping to carry shopping.

Ninebot by Segway

The head features five cameras: three for depth-sensing, a fisheye lens for tracking and a standard photography camera.

Ninebot by Segway

These multiple cameras pair with sensors to enable a Track and Follow mode, so the robot can continue to roll along behind the rider once they have disembarked.

Ninebot by Segway

A sensitive microphone can pick up voice commands from anywhere in the room. The robot is also capable of connecting with other smart hardware.

As a vehicle, the device can reach speeds of 18 kilometres per hour and has a maximum trip distance of 30 kilometres.

Ninebot by Segway

The Segway Robot will start shipping to developers in the second half of 2016, but no commercial release has been announced yet.

This move by Segway signals its attempt to keep up with a growing range of balancing and levitating transportation devices. Many have been released around and after 21 October 2015 – the date travelled to in 1989 sci-fi movie Back to the Future II, in which character Marty McFly travels on a hoverboard.

Ninebot by Segway

Lexus, Hendo and Arca Space have all released versions of hoverboards, while a Silicon Valley inventor created a vehicle that looks like a skateboard balanced on a single wheel.