As many of you are aware, we are in the transitioning phase of this website as we close out TeamUV.org and transition to EngineeringAFuture.com over the next two months, so this will be Ketton’s last Open Mind post here at Team UV, but not to fear, there is still one week of posts left here and the same types of articles will be carried over onto EAF (Engineering A Future), so without further ado, please enjoy the following:
We have been yearning for the hoverboard technology ever since it premiered in series like Back to the Future and Real Adventures of Johnny Quest. But, due to the complexity of the underlying technology, no hoverboards have yet been able to accommodate a real person during flight. It has largely been agreed that the future hoverboard’s levitation effect will come from the application of electromagnetic levitation rather than any propulsion. But in addition to the electromagnetism, the new board also uses liquid Nitrogen in some capacity. The new attempt at the hoverboard is called Slide and it can lift itself off the ground and carry a person. Not enough technical details regarding the board of our dreams are available, and the sole source of information is a video released by the Tokyo branch of Lexus, the company behind this invention. The project is a part of the Amazing in Motion campaign by the Lexus company that has produced an 11 foot tall android, a swarm of quadcopters and mannequins performing in Kuala Lumpur.
We see in the video (below) how a young man is getting off from his boring regular board and then moves towards the Slider board. It really seems to be levitating in thin air. It seems to be a remarkable feat of engineering and a long-awaited ride for us. Due to the brand image of Lexus, it is unlikely that it is an edited video. The video is real but to see an actual hoverboard is mesmerizing. I bet there are many technical difficulties to overcome before we can actually see it. There had been an attempt of making a working hoverboard before as Kickstarter attracted the Hendo hoverboard that could levitate and move across a floor of some conductive material to create a secondary field.
The Lexus spokesperson told the media that there won’t be any disclosure of information before the end of the month when the board could be unveiled for the cameras. However, we cannot help but feel suspicious about the whole thing. The electromagnetic levitation requires a particular type of surface to float on. In the video, the guy appears to be doing so on concrete, which doesn’t seem to make sense. Maybe there is a secret to the smoking sides of the hoverboard. They must contribute towards its function in some aspect.
Check out the video below and see what all the fuss is about!