Open-source hoverboard project seeks $1 million just to get started
Ever since moviegoers watched in awe as Marty McFly sped along on a hoverboard in Back To The Future Part II, many of us have dreamed of having a real-life hoverboard of our own. Sadly no such product exists, but that hasn't stopped someone from dreaming of making it happen. To do so, they're asking for US$1 million on crowdfunding platform Indiegogo.
Haltek Industries believes "the world needs a Hoverboard," and that it's the company to build it. In order to do so, it needs $1 million to build a platform to catalog any advances made over the next few years, with form factors and power sources explored to find the best way forward. The ultimate aim is to launch the finished product in Q3 2015.
In other words, this is a plea for funding to the tune of $1 million to essentially just get the ball rolling on building a real-life working hoverboard. All that is being guaranteed is a website housing all of the data collected and prototypes tested, and a hoverboard controller app for mobile platforms.
People who contribute $10,000 or more will be "one of the first in the world to own a real working hoverboard" but the June 2015 delivery estimate could slip to ... well, your guess is as good as mine and, I suspect, the company's. Other perks include a miniature hoverboard for $1,000, $50 for voting rights on design choices, and $10 for access to the "development center" on the website.
Some of the technology needed to make a hoverboard become a reality does indeed exist. Two examples in particular are mentioned specifically in the proposal: Chris Malloy's prototype hoverbike, which uses omni-direction tubeaxial blowers to gain vertical lift; and IBM's lithium air batteries, which create energy from drawing in oxygen, potentially making them both light and powerful enough to provide a power source. But it's a leap of faith to cite two future projects not ready for primetime as a reason to believe in a third.
The $1 million needs to be raised by August 27 for the project to carry on. Those tempted to contribute should bear in mind the first line of the Indiegogo plea, "Probably impossible ... But certainly worth a try!" before parting with their cash.
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it smells like rip off... only smells, after all, he has credentials (NOPE.. he does not) http://www.linkedin.com/in/roberthaleluk
nope... he is not the guy to the job, as a piece of advice: make a prototype, show it, THEN ask for money.. not the other way arround.
I doubt it'll be funded sadly.
I can pretty much 100% guarantee that it's impossible, so why is it worth a try?
The recently developed Martin Jetpack is arguably the world's most compact human-levitating device, and it has a volume something like 20x what you'd need for a board.
My only concern is stability with the center of mass (user) being higher then the blades. Would require something like a Segway gyro (or two) to keep it level.
Would recommended a closed cycle rechargeable fuel cell for additional power density. One that could be recharged from the outlet overnight.
I'm personally more in favor of the hover-bike concept with vertically aligned rotors and VTOL as the riding position provides better stability.
Getting a person off the ground with a couple of 12" fans powered by a battery just isn't going to happen and especially not for $10k. He even mentions the battery technology he is looking at is under development and experimental and I suspect IBM is millions of dollars away from anything that would be ready for a consumer product.
Having your small project depend on a major breakthrough in battery technology dooms it mostly right out the gate. There are other major issues as well. The stabilization firmware is going to require significant R&D alone, probably more than their budget.
You cannot stabilize the platform using 2 fixed fans so the platform will need to move fans on more than one axis to make adjustments. The need for these joints limits space available for the battery. If you put your foot above a fan it will stop moving air too.
Without first just building a lightweight version of the platform designed to support only itself they are biting off waay more than they can chew with platform intended to transport humans.
AFAIK they are not under financial obligation to pay back the money if the project fails (and it will). Their goals are so unrealistic with the project they are pretty much just trying to con suckers out of $10,000 each.
*spends 5 minutes with a calculator* Research complete. Time to book my flight to the Caribbean.