Drop Your Babies, Hover Boards Are Here!
Science has done it again, and has brought into fruition a toy that has roamed and plagued our dreams since we were little kids. A toy that was once only able to be seen work as a prank or in the Back To The Future series; the hoverboard is finally here.
A California start up, Arx Pax founded by inventor Greg Henderson, has created a hovering board that can actually levitate the rider's body above the ground. How you may ask? With the help of high-powered magnets and a non ferrous metal surface, like copper and aluminum to push against.
Henderson explains how it works: "A magnet has an electrically magnetic field, right? Which is basically equal in all areas. Has a north and south pole. What if you were able to take that magnets and organize the magnetic field so its only on one side? Then you combine that, with other magnetic fields, in a way that amplifies and focuses their strength. Thats magnetic field architecture that becomes a primary magnetic field, you have a method of induction, creating a secondary magnetic field."
In "layman's terms" it's a high-powered magnet that, with the use of battery cells, creates a magnetic field that pushes against metal to generate a sort of lift. In conjunction with that, this board does not work on surfaces that are not non ferrous metal surfaces, sorry to those that hoped this is a new way to get around, you're going to have to wait a while longer for that.
Founder, and chief visionary for Arx Pax, Greg Henderson was previous an Airborne Ranger with the 101st, and 7th Infantry divisions respectively, a graduate of West Point with a B.S. in Engineering as well as the holder of a Master of Architecture from Berkeley. The CV aside, Henderson is also a great visionary of the 21st century, defined as a man who "succinctly envisioned…a new way to employ an unexploited technology in applcations that others did not see. He labeled his epiphany: Magnectic Field Architecture (MFA™)"
Beta testers, and future potential consumers, that have been given the opportunity to ride this device have said that it is very smooth, yet really uncontrollable. You can push off into a direction, but there is little you can do afterwards in controlling its direction, meaning that hoverboards are probably still a few years away from any major markets, but the company is working on a steering system that will allow the user to control the direction and steering of the board for future models. The current model can support up to 300 pounds.
The "Hendo" Hover board was not originally intended for riding, it was actually made for safety against earthquakes.
Arx Pax's main goal is to someday be able to levitate buildings during the occurrence of an earthquake. Something like this would have an impact on the amount of damage, injuries, and death that happen because of this natural disaster. This idea is so far feasible because the team behind the technology have yet to hit a wall when it comes to how big or how small they can manfacture it. A happy accident of this invention might include a future of teenagers and atheletes riding hoverboards, but at its core, those goals still stand firm and applicable in the near future.
As of now, the board is still in its crowd funding stage on Kickstarter. Donating at least $100 will secure you a five minute ride on the hover board starting March 15, 2015, but it'll cost you upwards of $1,000 for an extended ride of an hour with a coach. The 10 original models that are going to be shipped out have all already sold for $10,000 are expected to ship around Oct. 21, 2015; the exact date Marty arrives in the future in Back to The Future 2.
With the creation of a real hoverboard, we can finally sleep more comfortably at night knowing there are intelligent people trying to both make the world a better place, and life a more enjoyable experience.