Urban Transport

Hendo Hover: The world's first real hoverboard?

Hendo Hover: The world's first...
The Hendo Hover is capable of running an inch off the ground using s opposing magnetic forces between the board and a metal surface
The Hendo Hover is capable of running an inch off the ground using s opposing magnetic forces between the board and a metal surface
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The batteries in the current prototype are only good for less than 10 minutes of hover time
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The batteries in the current prototype are only good for less than 10 minutes of hover time
The Hendo Hover team is looking to raise US$250,000 on Kickstarter
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The Hendo Hover team is looking to raise US$250,000 on Kickstarter
The Hendo Hover is currently restricted to levitating over a surface made of a non-ferromagnetic conductor, such as copper or aluminum
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The Hendo Hover is currently restricted to levitating over a surface made of a non-ferromagnetic conductor, such as copper or aluminum
The Hendo Hover is capable of running an inch off the ground using s opposing magnetic forces between the board and a metal surface
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The Hendo Hover is capable of running an inch off the ground using s opposing magnetic forces between the board and a metal surface
The Hendo hoverboard only works when partnered with metal surfaces in order to achieve magnetic opposing forces
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The Hendo hoverboard only works when partnered with metal surfaces in order to achieve magnetic opposing forces
The hoverboard uses proprietary Magnetic Field Architecture (MFA) in four "hover engines" mounted under the board in order to levitate
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The hoverboard uses proprietary Magnetic Field Architecture (MFA) in four "hover engines" mounted under the board in order to levitate
Those wanting to play with Hendo's technology can order a Whitebox developer kit
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Those wanting to play with Hendo's technology can order a Whitebox developer kit
One of the Hendo Hover prototypes
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One of the Hendo Hover prototypes
A proposed design for a potential Hendo Hover compatible skate park
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A proposed design for a potential Hendo Hover compatible skate park
The Whitebox packs a scaled-down version of the Hendo Hover's technology
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The Whitebox packs a scaled-down version of the Hendo Hover's technology

Despite many efforts to make the hoverboard a reality in the more than two decades since Marty McFly zipped around on his wheel-less ride in Back to the Future Part II, we're still waiting. Does the new Hendo Board, whose creators claim it is the "world's first real hoverboard," signal that the wait may finally be over?

Unfortunately, no. While the Hendo Board does indeed hover, and without the high-speed fans employed on the Hoverskater, it relies on technology similar to that found in maglev trains, with opposing magnetic forces between the board and the surface providing the hovering capabilities. Specifically, the Hendo Hover uses proprietary Magnetic Field Architecture (MFA) in four "hover engines" mounted under the board to enable it to float an inch off the ground with a rider on board.

While it's intended the rider will provide propulsion in the usual skateboarding manner, the system used to stabilize the 100-lb (45-kg) Hendo Hover can also be used to drive the board forward by altering the forces projected on the surface below.

The Hendo Hover is currently restricted to levitating over a surface made of a non-ferromagnetic conductor, such as copper or aluminum
The Hendo Hover is currently restricted to levitating over a surface made of a non-ferromagnetic conductor, such as copper or aluminum

The use of magnetism means that rather than riding over pavement, the board is currently restricted to levitating over a surface made of a non-ferromagnetic conductor, such as copper or aluminum. This is why you’ll notice the ramp used in the video below is not of your typical backyard plywood design. Additionally, the batteries in the current prototype are only good for less than 10 minutes of hover time. It's also very loud.

Despite these shortcomings, the Hendo Hover has achieved at least one of the main aims of husband and wife inventor team Greg and Jill Henderson, which isn't primarily to create a hoverboard. Rather it's intended to draw attention to and demonstrate the technology behind it, which the Henderson's believe could eventually be used to make buildings better able to withstand earthquakes or floods by floating them out of harm's way.

To this end, the team's Kickstarter campaign not only offers backers a Hendo Hover, but also a Whitebox Developer Kit designed to get the technology into the hands of the people, who after taking apart and playing with the engines, may find other uses or applications for it.

The Whitebox packs a scaled-down version of the Hendo Hover's technology
The Whitebox packs a scaled-down version of the Hendo Hover's technology

The kit packs scaled-down versions of the four hover engines found on the board into a white box that can be can be steered left, right, forward and back, and rotated around its own axis via an iOS or Android mobile device. The box comes with a hover surface and is powered by a set of rechargeable LiPo batteries that give 12 to 15 minutes of hover from a two-hour charge.

The Henderson's are well on the way to achieving their campaign goal of US$250,000, which will go towards finalizing the Hendo Board design, putting it into production and creating places to ride it. The Whitebox developer kit can be had for a pledge of $299, while the Hendo Hoverboard sits at the $10,000 pledge level. However, only 10 prototype boards were on offer and all have already been snapped up. If all goes to plan, the Whitebox developer kit will be shipped to backers from July 2015, with the Hendo Hovers slated for delivery in October 2015.

Video of the Hendo Hover being tested on the specially made metal half pipe can be seen below.

Source: Hendo Hover

Hendo Hoverboard: The World's First Hoverboard

5 comments
alvaro
Amazing! A dream that become true
BeWalt
Amazing...not! Copper underneath will make it work best (says physics), but copper is problematic because mining it is creating large scale problems all around the world. We need to start using it on a what-we-have basis, recycle 100% of it and stop mining it, as soon as we can. And then use what we have in more intelligent ways than cladding surfaces to enable rich kids fun rides. And copper roofs for that matter, bird baths and posh fire pits. Maglev train business models fall apart once the copper necessary for the rail to ride on is taken into account. This is a nice physics demo - no more, and no less.
Mike Malsed
BeWalt - it's a step. It's a big step. A few years ago, there was no hover anything. . . And yes, we know that copper is resource intensive and we need to recycle - definitely. BTW - copper roofs (traditional copper roofs) are cost effective, last longer than asphalt or even tile roofs, and don't make the VOCs that asphalt roofs make. We actually have quite a bit of copper, even though getting it (anymore) is very resource intensive. Much of the copper roofing is recycled since it does not need to be 100% pure. Anyway - physics demos are how we advance. We prove that something CAN happen, then we figure out other ways to make it happen, then it does. Look at the Segway and everything that has spawned - it was very expensive, nearly exotic tech when it came out. Now - common place. No big deal to see a bunch of little robots balancing on a ball. This is just one example.
sk8dad
Inducing eddy currents in the aluminum/copper surface is similar to induction cooktops. I'm guessing the efficiency is low, so practical application for amusement park ride?
Smile WiFi
Here's the scientific explanation why HENDO hover board works: https://www.facebook.com/spacecartech/photos/a.202112333304195.1073741828.202102946638467/206795242835904/?type=1&theater Any conductor whether Copper, aluminum or YBCO will make this hover board levitate. You need to allow the external magnetic field either from a Neodymium Iron Boron Magnet that is in Halbach Array or any array of N-S-N-S configuration attain what science calls LENZ's Law thus it will levitate. The future it that the roads will be the source of energy converting kinetic energy of a moving maglev hoverboard or a maglev car to generate induced electricity and lift. https://www.facebook.com/spacecartech/photos/a.202112333304195.1073741828.202102946638467/221028744745887/?type=1&theater and here's the blue print for MAGLEV CAR: https://www.facebook.com/notes/spacecar-technologies-subsidiary-of-maglev-vision-corporation/spacecar-the-blueprint-of-omni-directional-magnetic-levitation-car-open-source-c/202117493303679