In its early days, skateboarding was known in some circles as "sidewalk surfing," but lately we've seen a number of powered boards designed to leave the street behind and head off road. In 2009 we looked at one such prototype board known as the Scarpar Powerboard. The inventor of that board, Dan Baldwin, has now developed another prototype all-terrain board called the Ungoverned that is designed to tackle everything from rocks to snow.
Resembling a cross between a caster board and a tank, the current Ungoverned 1 prototype rides on two caterpillar tracks that are powered by a four-stroke engine. However, Baldwin says it's a relatively easy process to swap out the engine so that any power source such as batteries and electric motors could be utilized.
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"The poweer source is not what makes this vehicle special, but more so the engineering that has gone into the vehicles handling. We see it comfortably traversing huge river stones and even logs!"
Measuring 1,390 mm (54 in) long, 360 mm (14 in) wide, with a track width of 320 mm (13 in), the deck sits at a height of 140mm (5.5 in). The whole unit weighs in at 49 kg (108 lb), which Baldwin points out is a "hell of a lot lighter than your average snowmobile." It's also lighter than the Scarpar board that tips the scales at 65 kg (143 lb).
The vehicle is designed to seamlessly transition between various types of terrain without the need to change the tracks and has been tested on rocks, sand and dirt. Baldwin is planning snow trials in the near future. Acceleration is controlled by a wired hand controller but the Ungoverned's maximum speed hasn't yet been announced. Of course, speeds are sure to vary across different terrain.
While Australian startup, Scarpar Pty Ltd established in 2005 further develops and brings to market Baldwin's original Powerboard, Baldwin continues to develop high performance vehicles for his personal use.