October 21, 2014 weblog
Hendersons introduce hoverboard and a future beyond wheels
Greg and Jill Henderson are behind a hoverboard that uses a magnetic field to generate lift, and they have turned to crowdfunding to put the finishing touches on their California-based Hendo Hoverboard. They said that "perfecting it will take a little more time and resources," and their target date is October 2015. Their plan is to procure parts from a number of overseas suppliers, with the final assembly in Los Gatos, California.
Engadget described it as "a self-powered, levitating platform with enough power to lift a fully grown adult." The technology behind the hoverboard lies in its four disc-shaped hover engines. These create a special magnetic field that pushes against itself, generating the lift that levitates the board off the ground. There is work ahead. The surface needs to be a non-ferromagnetic conductor. "Right now we use commonly available metals in a simple sheets, but we are working on new compounds and new configurations to maximize our technology and minimize costs," the team said on the campaign page.
The campaign's hoverboard is a means for the company to draw attention to a larger development, the device's technology, and the developer kit option could open up opportunities to leverage this technology in important ways. "We are putting hover technology in YOUR hands," they said. The New York Times said the Hendersons would like to see new industries based on this science. Greg Henderson, CEO of the company, Arx Pax, said the underlying technology is totally scalable. "The Hendo hoverboard is just the first step," he said. "It's a proof of concept for demonstrating a technology that everyone can understand." Campaign supporters who go for the option of a developer kit will find inside the box the hover engine, to use to build their own projects. "You no longer have to be a scientist in a lab in order to build the future," he remarked. "The wheel may finally have some competition."
Their hoverboard is a "vehicle," in a sense, for the core technology which the Hendersons call Magnetic Field Architecture (MFA). As the campaign page explained, "The Hendo Hoverboard is a first-step product," with a vision toward broader MFA implementations. "It enables a new generation of lift and motion technology that will change the way we view transportation. Additional applications for MFA technology are virtually limitless - from business, to industry, to healthcare, and beyond." The team would like to see an ecosystem of technologies using MFA. "Hovering modes of transportation are now possible and practical. Lifting a wide range of loads - whether it's a person riding a hoverboard (what we were all expecting) or a building riding out an earthquake (what we never imagined could be possible) - is all within reach." Another vision is to see a place for using the hoverboard. They said that as their current technology requires special types of surfaces, "we need a hoverpark to go with our boards, and we have been busy designing a park befitting the awesomeness of our technology." Arx Pax developed the hover technology used in the Hendo Hoverboard and Whitebox Developer Kit.
For a pledge of $10,000, they said, one can own one of the world's first ten Hendo production hoverboards.
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