Hoverboard Technology - The Ins and Outs of a New Modern Way to Travel
What is a Hoverboard? How Does a Hoverboard Work?
The new hoverboard technology that everyone is talking about these days may end up becoming a brand new and modern method of self transportation.
The Hoverboard is a basically classified as self-balancing scooter related to the way that a "Segway" works, relying on a gyroscope and body movements in order to move the device around. They have taken the world by storm and are one of the most wanted gadgets of all time.
Ah, but what's different about a hoverboard from a Segway is that a hoverboard operates using independent motors on an axis in the center and gyroscopes that are on opposites ends of each other.
What technology do Hoverboards Contain?
Hoverboards function and heavily rely on the advanced technology built inside the hoverboard. There are many components inside each and every hoverboard, making it possible to allow you to move around by simply leaning in the direction you want to go.
This technology has been around since the early 2010's and was commonly used in other modern marvels such as drones. The inventor of the hoverboard simply took this kind of technology and applied it to a new device that self balances.
The Logic Board aka Motherboard
The hoverboard motherboard is the main component that runs the whole show. This is essentially the brains to the operation of the device, and tells every other component on the hoverboard what to do and runs the built in program that tells it to move the wheels based on the direction you are leaning towards in order to accurately and properly move you around.
Each and every component of the hoverboard connects into the motherboard in some manner. The motherboard then processes the information using its onboard processor and tells the hoverboard exactly what it needs to do in order to stay stable.
Each hoverboard usually contains two gyroscopes that are attached inside on top of a plastic mount on each side, near the wheels. The gyroscopes are the components that measure the rotational position of the hoverboard. This is how it can tell which way you are leaning and how far you are leaning towards that direction so that it can accurately move you around in the direction you want to go.
The gyroscopes take that tilt and speed data then send it to the motherboard, which outputs voltage to the electromagnetic motors, which then apply a magnetic force in the opposite direction to keep you, and your hoverboard, balanced with the plane of the earth.
Tilt & Speed Sensors
These tilt sensors are integrated into the gyroscopes and essentially measure the angle/tilt of the hoverboard in order to make it go faster or slower depending on how far you are leaning towards one direction.
The speed sensors are integrated into the motherboard and measure the speed that the hoverboard is going so that it doesn't go past the safe speed limit. If you do go past that limit, the hoverboard will start beeping, advising you that you're riding too fast.
The speed sensors also limit the speed that a hoverboard can go. In the case of a hoverkart, the speed sensors limit the maximum speed even though the driver is at no risk of falling off. The purpose of the speed sensors in this case is to ensure that the motors don't overheat, which would render your hoverboard completely useless and in need of repair.
Hoverboard speed sensors make it easier and less risky for beginners, and reduce the chances that you to get injured if you happen to fall off while it is still moving.
The hoverboard battery is usually located on one side of the hoverboard, powering the device throughout its usage. It is very important when you buy a battery that you get it UL2271 certified.
Many cheap hoverboard brands and manufacturers will use non UL-certified batteries in order to cut costs, however these are highly dangerous as there have been many multiple reported cases of hoverboard batteries catching fire during usage or while charging due to the cheap circuitry used inside non UL certified batteries, which aren't inspected or certified in any way to be safe.
The hoverboard frame is what holds all the pieces together including:
- Power Button
- Charging Port
- LED Lights
- Plastic Shell
- Battery Cage
- Gyroscope Mounts
- Foot Pads
Depending on the model you get, the hoverboard's shell can cut-outs for built in LED lights in different places, rubber bumpers in order to prevent scratches and damage if it hits something, and other unique styling elements.
This shell is built of very tough plastic, similar to the kind that cars use in order to give the device a higher quality feel and make it more durable in the case that it bumps into something.
Why are Hoverboards so Popular?
One of the major reasons that these hoverboards are so popular are mostly because of the cool factor. These incredible devices amaze anyone who rides it or watches someone ride one, especially older people.
Hoverboards allow you to move around like you are on a Segway without the ugly handlebar, inability to easily transport it, and dorky overall look. Simply put, most Segways have no style. Hoverboards work by doing nothing more than simply leaning your legs from one direction to another.
What do Hoverboards Cost? Why Doesn't Everyone Have a Hoverboard?
One of the biggest reasons why many people do not have hoverboards yet, or rather why they have not gone completely mainstream such as bicycles or scooters have, are simply because of the fact that they are expensive, and people are afraid of falling.
Just think about that for a second though. When you first started riding a bicycle, how many times did you fall? And more importantly, did you scratch yourself or get hurt at all? The answer is almost unanimously yes.
So how much is a hoverboard? The current average cost of a hoverboard is anywhere from $200-$400 and can go for as much as $1,200 depending on the model you get, as there are also very many high end hoverboards with lots of other cool features such as having a key to allow you to ring or lock it like an automobile, built in Bluetooth speakers, fancy led color changing lights, faster speeds, better build quality, etc. We even have off-road hoverboards now.
Are Hoverboards the Future?
Hoverboards were the best selling gadget during the holiday season of 2015, and continue to rapidly fly off of store shelves today. The best hoverboards are the branded ones like StreetSaw. The hoverboards to avoid are the unbranded ones, such as those sold on eBay, Amazon, and Craigslist. Its really tough to score a cheap hoverboard and still have it working after a few weeks.
At the rate hoverboards are currently selling, they may very well be the next major method of personal transportation in today's world. We just need to get the adults to believe that they can actually ride on them and put them to use in daily life.
Only time can tell, but hoverboards continue to get cheaper and better. Certification companies are coming in and make sure that companies are selling safe hoverboards. We honestly believe that, over the course of time, hoverboards become mainstream, unless a brand new more efficient technology comes out that replaces them.