Urban Transport

Lexus Hoverboard gets off the ground

Lexus Hoverboard gets off the ...
The Lexus Hoverboard in full flight
The Lexus Hoverboard in full flight
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In sliding down handrails, riding across water and jumping a moving Lexus, McGouran offers an achingly cool debut for the futuristic vehicle
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In sliding down handrails, riding across water and jumping a moving Lexus, McGouran offers an achingly cool debut for the futuristic vehicle
The Lexus Hoverboard in full flight
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The Lexus Hoverboard in full flight
Lexus says its hoverboard contains two cryostats that hold superconducting material which is immersed in liquid nitrogen to kept it at a chilly -197°C (322.6°F)
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Lexus says its hoverboard contains two cryostats that hold superconducting material which is immersed in liquid nitrogen to kept it at a chilly -197°C (322.6°F)
In sliding down handrails, riding across water and jumping a moving Lexus, McGouran offers an achingly cool debut for the futuristic vehicle
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In sliding down handrails, riding across water and jumping a moving Lexus, McGouran offers an achingly cool debut for the futuristic vehicle

When it comes to taunting us with the prospect of a fully-functioning hoverboard, ambitious designers, startups and pranksters alike have really stepped up their game recently. But this effort from Lexus officially takes the cake. The automaker has released a short film of professional skateboarder Ross McGouran riding its magnetic levitation Hoverboard around a purpose-built skatepark, which, as you'd expect, makes for some pretty awesome viewing.

Lexus has teased the public with its hoverboard project for some time now, remaining tightlipped on the details of how this thing actually works. What we do know is that the company built a special skatepark that looks like a regular skatepark, but hides (656 ft) 200 m of magnetic track under its surface.

The thinking was that this would allow the board to levitate just above the ground, but if previous efforts to recreate Marty McFly's ride in Back to the Future II have taught us anything, it's that such ambitions should be treated with a healthy dose of skepticism.

Lexus says its hoverboard contains two cryostats that hold superconducting material immersed in liquid nitrogen to keep it at a chilly -197° C (-322.6° F), giving it the ability to float over the magnetic surface. And in sliding down handrails, riding across water and jumping a moving Lexus, McGouran offers an achingly cool debut for the futuristic device.

It should be noted that the project is part of a Lexus advertising campaign and the company has no intention of releasing its hoverboard, even if you do go to the trouble of building a metallic skatepark to ride it in.

Source: Lexus

Lexus Hoverboard: It's here!

9 comments
MattII
A gimick product, applicable in the lab, but not outside it.
SciFi9000
sigh.. Marty McFly's 'future' is now. I remember seeing that movie in my teens and it was awesome. They did get a lot right.. the 80s revival for one. The fashions though... next... Good to see the movie influencing technology though. The autofit clothes/shoes with built in dryer... hahaha. The hover-board is the prop that made the show though.
darkstar01
This is possible using some lesser known elements called "Monatomic elements" several of the elements have seriously weird properties including gravity shielding, and monatomic gold has a weird effect of superconducting at room temperature. So the hard part is not making monatomic elements, it's making enough of them and processing them in such a way that you get primarily ONE element.
Jugen
I can just imagine the Lexus boardroom meeting that took place: "We need to make our brand appeal to a younger market, as that is what is proven to sell cars to older people." "But how to do we do it?" "With a Hoverboard." "But what's a Hoverboard got to do with Lexus?" "We make the Hoverboarder jump a Lexus." ["ahh" sounds from the board room]
C. O. Slavens
Sure to bring a smile to Michael J. Fox's face.
owlbeyou
Very cool looking, but this hoverboard has its limits. With a skateboard you can bank on turns, flip the board over, lean on the front or back for maneuvers, and more. The promo video does a good job of masking these shortcomings. And the trough in the middle of the underside is for riding down handrails? Hah! But it does smoke and look very cool even though it's a prohibitively expensive stunt to pull off. What does a magnetic field this strong do to electronic devices, if anything?
sk8dad
Wow, an excellent gimmick production aimed at the general consumer who is unaware of the physics or the constraints that was so cleverly covered up with fancy film editing. No new technology here, and certainly no exotic use of hypothetical materials either. The hover is due to the well know meissner effect of superconductors. The "smoke" coming out of the board is nothing but liquid nitrogen evaporating. The blocks underneath the board contain the reservoir for LN2 and off the shelf high-temperature superconductors. The skate park is purpose built with tracks of magnets embedded within, and yes even in the very shallow pool. Keen observers should note that board is constrained to a predefined path of the magnets regardless of the rider's input. Traditional skateboards will turn in the direction of lean based on the skater's input. That is why all the skaters fell off side ways in the beginning. Sure eventually they were able adapt and just ride the hover board sort of like a stand-up roller coaster where the rider is at the mercy of the track. In the car-jumping sequence, the skater lands just a bit askew from the invisible track's line. As soon as he broke free of the track, the board immediately stopped hovering and he crashed. One could suggest that magnets be embedded everywhere in the park. Doing so would render the hover board nothing more than a very expensive superconductor equivalent of an air-hockey puck. The superconductor will only hover and traverse within the field of magnets. If the magnets are lined up as a track the superconductor will hover over and traverse the track longitudally. If entire surface is lined with magnets the superconductor will still hover, but will now traverse in any direction. Imagine trying to skate on a carpet dolly. You cannot control direction or orientation...useful to move objects around but useless as a hover board. Granted there is merit in this fairly impractical and expensive project. It does look fun indeed. I would really categorize this not as a technological breakthrough, but an excellent amusement attraction befitting the circus or Burning Man.
Stephen N Russell
If no "gimmick" I say Test in public. Before local media, webcams & public alone. Venice Beach CA would be ideal for summer crowd. Hermosa Beach CA Hawaii Dana Pt CA
AJT7
Nothing new here! This guy Hannes Thiart did a fantastic hoverboard FOUR years ago for a few pence in costs… check: https://vimeo.com/17539678.