The first hoverboard created by Hendo and up on Kickstarter (via Hendo Hover)
Hold the phone and take me Back to the Future! Someone has created a real hoverboard! Recently, there was a big hub bub about a Back to the Future electric skateboard commemorating the awesomeness of Marty McFly. That is no comparison to an actual hoverboard!
Actually, I should preface this with the fact that you won’t be riding a hoverboard to work in the near future, but we could be driving hover-cars in 5 years, maybe. I can dream, at least.
Hendo is a start-up that was inspired to make a long-time dream a reality. The Kickstarter campaign is still up and running with 31 days to go and they have already received almost double their pledged goal. This hoverboard project currently has over $440,000 in funding! It's safe to say, people are going bananas for hoverboards.
So, how does this baby work? Well, it only hovers one inch off the ground, but that's a lot more than any other piece of furniture I own. The board floats using four, disk-shaped, hover engines which are located underneath the board. These 'engines' create a magnetic field that allows the board to hover and move above a surface with no friction. It is a technology similar to electromagnetic trains that hover above their tracks. However, this technology is scalable and doesn't need tracks, per say.
The setback is that the hoverboard needs to use a non-ferromagnetic conductor as a surface substrate. Hence, this board isn't going to be hovering over city sidewalks anytime soon, but Hendo has built their own skate park for their hoverboard. They plan to build parks like that around different cities to allow hoverboard owners to play to their hearts content. If you want a fully functioning hoverboard, I'm afraid you're out of luck for now. The boards are already sold to 11 lucky backers for $10,000 a pop.
But for you makers and tinkers out there, Hendo is offering really affordable tinker kits with the hover technology on Kickstarter which allows you to hover just about anything and make it fit your needs. Personally, I'm thinking of hovering my morning coffee to myself. While the basic kit allows you to take the technology apart and play with it, their Whitebox+ is a fully functional hovering box that you can remote control with your smartphone. While this isn't meant to be tinkered with, it could become a robot waiter of sorts. At the very least, it will resemble the footrest from Beauty and the Beast.
While Hendo isn't exactly offering ready-made hoverboards yet, their main reason for needing funding is to develop what they are calling Magnetic Field Architecture (MFA). This technology is what allows the hoverboard to work, and is less expensive and more sustainable than current magnetic propulsion technology. Hendo is hoping to develop this technology to the point that you could virtually make any and everything hover anywhere. I'm really hoping that they succeed in developing this technology way beyond a simple hoverboard so that I can hover above the giant Chicago pot holes that attempt to eat my car every winter.
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