Modern hoverboards are fantastic pieces of technology, offering a self-balancing method of personal transportation. How do hoverboards work? Movement is done via a number of gyroscopic sensors. In other words, hoverboards do not actually hover. Can a flying hoverboard ever actually exist, as originally seen in the film Back to the Future 2?
Actually, we may not be that far off from having the best hoverboards that actually hover and, in some cases, fly off of the ground entirely. There are several technologies in the works to make this dream a reality.
There are several working flying hoverboard design prototypes, though it is hard to tell which of these promising technologies will reach consumers in the near future.
Some prototypes, such as the Omni Hoverboard, use a series of tiny helicopter blades to hover and fly into the air. The Omni’s designer, Canadian entrepreneur Philippe Maalouf, recently broke records when the Omni successfully hovered in the air and traveled for nearly 1,000 feet. “You feel like it’s you who’s flying. And that’s new. That’s the innovation,” Maalouf said about the Omni Hoverboard. Though a working prototype, the inventor has not indicated if and when this hoverboard will be available as a consumer product. He has noted that the retail price for the Omni could be as high as $50,000. At that price point, you’re probably better off learning how to buy a good hoverboard available right now.
Tip: Some prototypes, such as the Omni Hoverboard, use a series of tiny helicopter blades to hover and fly into the air
The ArcaBoard and related working prototypes use what are called electric ducted fans in order to hover off of the ground. The ArcaBoard floats thanks to 36 of these high-powered electric ducted fans and the board itself is on the larger side, at 57-inches long and 6-inches thick. It can reach a foot off of the ground and can currently reach a maximum speed of 12 miles per hour. The bad news? Battery life is abysmal, at six minutes per charge, and the price will clock in at around $20,000 when Arca launches it to consumers. It’ll definitely be interesting to learn how to ride a hoverboard that flies.
Tip: The ArcaBoard and related working prototypes use what are called electric ducted fans in order to hover off of the ground
Hoverboard prototypes that use magnetic levitation offer the closest design to what is found in Back to the Future 2. The Arx Pax Hendo uses a unique magnetic levitation technology called Magnetic Field Architecture. The hoverboard’s engine generates a magnetic field that creates electrical currents on the ground. The magnetic field and this electrical current push against each other, which allows riders to float on the surface. An early version of the Arx Pax has already been offered for sale on Kickstarter to early backers for $10,000. It makes you wonder if the man who invented the hoverboard ever envisioned something like this.
Tip: The Arx Pax Hendo uses a unique magnetic levitation technology called Magnetic Field Architecture
Though hoverboards may not ever arrive that mimic the one seen in Back to the Future 2 exactly, there are several promising technologies that have resulted in working prototypes. In short, it could be a few years.
The devices that are called hoverboards do not actually hover or fly. They use gyroscopic sensors to allow for balance-based control over speed, thrust, and direction.
Not currently, though several working prototypes have been under development. It will be several years before one of these reaches the marketplace.