South Africa plummeted into stage 6 load shedding on Thursday leaving most parts of the country with prolonged outages and cold breakfasts. Stage 6…
Hoverboards are stuff from Back to the Future Part II, right? This might be starting to change as a startup, called Arx Pax from California, have recently discovered.
The board doesn’t hover in the traditional sense (by traditional, I mean Back to the Future-style plastic skateboard). Similar to magnetic rails used in Shanghai, China, the hoverboard relies on a copper field which pushes the board away from the surface. This means that you need to stay on a copper or aluminium fields, and won’t be able to scale mountains, cityscapes and rivers.
The so-called Hendo board floats 1-inch (about 2.5 centimetres) from the surface. “The magic behind the hoverboard lies in its four disc-shaped hover engines,” the company notes. “These create a special magnetic field which literally pushes against itself, generating the lift which levitates our board off the ground.”
The Verge recently got a chance to test the board out for themselves. Here’s what they had to say:
The easiest way to describe it is like getting on a snowboard that’s just been pulled out of an oven. Any sort of lateral control you’d have with a skateboard goes out the window. Instead, you’re floating, and often spinning as your body pushes certain parts of the board, adjusting its direction.
Architect Greg Henderson — the main brain behind the tech — initially explored this exciting idea in an effort to enable buildings to withstand earthquakes. The startup has now launched a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter seeking to raise US$250 000.
On the down-side, the Hendo board will cost you around US$10 000, and you’ll probably need to build your own course or track. But hey, maybe one day — instead of going ice-skating — we can all go hoverboarding.