Toyota today unveiled the “Winglet”, a personal transport assistance robot ridden in a standing position. The Winglet, still currently under development, is a compact everyday transport tool that is easy to operate and allows users to expand their range of mobility. The concept was popularized by the original Segway, which to this day still has no serious competitors, but now it appears Toyota wants a piece of the action.

The Winglet consists of a body (with a projected area the size of an A3 sheet of paper) that houses an electric motor, two wheels and internal sensors that constantly monitor the user’s position and make adjustments in power to ensure stability.

A unique parallel link mechanism allows the rider to go forward, backward and turn simply by shifting body weight, making the vehicle safe and useful even in tight spaces or crowded environments.

Toyota has created three models, the “L”, “M” and “S”, each having different handling features ranging from practical to sporty. Designers are now conducting various technical and consumer trials to gain feedback in the lead-up to a possible market launch around 2010.