Hoverboards, do we even want them?

  • So I stumbled in on the old Hendo board youtube vid, and then on to a few more videos about hoverboards.
    I realized that there is one huge flaw in the design (this might be just me being slow)

    Imagine if we had the lexus board, or any other, working without any rails or magnets.
    It just floats, like a hovercraft, but without the air.

    There is one big problem with a hovercraft, and that is control. On a board, it would be even worse.
    How on earth would we control the board at all?
    Wouldn't it just go straight forward and then eventually crash?

  • Yeah levitation alone would not make a good hoverboard.

  • I had the opportunity to try the Hendo hoverboard last March.
    Your assumptions are correct. The lack of wheels makes it very hard to direct the board into a directions. Bellow is a video of me riding it.

    Here are the pros and cons.

    -It floats!
    -It made it in time for 2015
    -Leaning on any of the 4 engines makes the board move towards that direction (very slowly)

    -It is very noisy, it has 4 lawnmower engine powered magnetic blades spinning underneath
    -It only works on non-ferrous metals (ie: copper)
    -Battery lasts 15 minutes per charge
    -When you kick of the ground, you don't go forward. You spin.
    -You can't stop on your own
    -It's very slow unless you get a push from someone

  • @dino Very nice video!

    I guess the lexus way of using rails is really the only option for "magnet"boards. At least until we come up with some completely new tech that we can actually control by tilting, like the OW.
    Even with rails it's pretty dangerous.
    Good thing we have Onewheels.

  • @germx Agreed! The Onewheel is the best alternative.

  • I think for now that the greatest challenge for the creation of real hoverboards. Hendo Hoverboards needs a magnetic surface or a magnetic platform while Lexus Hoverboard needs a magnetic path..The real hoverboards for now have limitations which is far from the hoverboard we would expect which travels in the air and anywhere we want :)

    Are hoverboards real? - for now they're not what we expect them to be, the ones we can travel with anywhere..

  • @Hoverboarder Well, the real problem, as my point was, isn't that we can't make hover boards without magnets and special surfaces.
    While this obviously needs to be solved first, to get actual hover, it's not very useful.

    Having a hovering board, like the hendo board, hovering on tarmac and concrete would be awesome indeed. BUT, it would still be completely useless for transportation in a skateboard-esque way. As there is no good way to control speed and direction.
    It might be fun, but completely suicidal. Unless riding in a closed off area. And then you might as well be riding on a copper plate.

  • Even far into the future when energy from the vacuum powers our future flying craft. My bloodline will still prefer the pneumatic single wheeled foot kart board approach. My fascination with this relic (the onewheel) is in the magic that is accessible only within the geometric nature of a single internally powered intuitively directable pneumatic racing go kart wheel positioned perfectly under one's own center of gravity. Contact with the ground is essential. All the subtle feedback coming from the conversation between your wheel and the ground is how your brain connects with whatever terrain you are traversing. The dual nature of the wheel being both the facilitator of forward and backward motion and the edge that you use to grip and shred whatever surface you are wheeling. All these things are very very important to me now.

Log in to reply