What is A Hoverboard? How Does a Hoverboard Work?

What is A Hoverboard? How Does a Hoverboard Work?

There are a lot of people who see Hoverboards but don’t really know what it is and there are also people who ride hoverboards, but few understand the technology behind them. Today, we carefully explain what is Hoverboard and how a hoverboard works.

What is a hoverboard (Self-Balancing Scooter)?

A Hoverboard or Self-balancing Scooter is a self-balancing personal transporter consisting of two motorized wheels connected to a pair of articulated pads on which the rider places their feet. The rider controls the speed by leaning forwards or backward, and direction of travel by twisting the pads.

When people hear the word “hoverboard”, they often think of the Marty McFly hoverboard from the 1989 movie “Back To The Future” movies. However, we haven’t been able to realize the self-hovering board just yet.

Although we are not there yet, what we do have now are self-balancing scooters (also nicknamed hoverboards). These hoverboards don’t actually hover but instead ride on wheels.

When did hoverboards come out?

Shane Chen a Chinese-American  inventor and entrepreneur is credited with creating the first-ever, working, hoverboard with Hovertrax. When Shane Chen land in the US, He created his first business. This was for CID, Inc. and was intended to create different instruments for plants and agricultural research.

Chen later moved onto invention of products for consumers. Inventist, Inc. was Chen’s next venture where the AquaSkipper watercraft was his first big adventure.

This is where the hoverboard begins taking its shape. The watercraft really opened the door for Chen, as it then led to a three-wheeled scooter, which was licensed to RazorUSA.

Before moving forward on his idea for a hoverboard of sorts, Chen took a break to create the Solowheel. This is a self-balancing electric unicycle, which takes advantage of multiple gyroscopic sensors in order to properly balance.

From there, Chen got the idea for a hoverboard, although his first idea was not a success. This first idea was for a hoverboard designed for indoor usage, although the issue arose when he realized the wheels were too small to take outside.

Chen’s prototype was named ‘The Purple Board’ and although it was a failure, it opened the door for the hoverboard we know of today. Instead of placing the wheels beneath the rider’s feet, Chen opted to move them to the outside of the board.

Making this change would make it possible for both the ability to ride inside, but also outside, with little to no issues. From there, the Hovertrax was born. The first Hoverboard was made available to the public in 2013. So how you know Hoverboards came out in 2013.

How Does a Hoverboard Work?

Hoverboards are the novel little devices that look something like a skateboard, only they are self balancing and also electronic. They have wheels and the idea is that you’re supposed to be able to stand on them and propel them in whatever direction you are interested in traveling. Think of Hoverboards as a powered skateboard that is far more sophisticated than what you probably used as a child.

Typically, they are powered by a battery operated device that in turn powers a motor which gives them the ability to move in all directions. You usually turn the power from the battery on and off with a hand control. The rest is up to you, as you propel the hoverboard in the direction you wish to travel by placing the majority of your weight in that particular direction. Check out how to charge your hoverboard here.

Hoverboard Footpad Technology

How does a Hoverboard work?

On each side of your hoverboard’s footpads are two switches. The hoverboard uses these switches to detect how you move. One switch is in the front, while the other is at the back. When these switches are turned on, the wheels are told to accelerate in a specific direction.

If you put your right foot forward on the footpad and your left foot backward, you’ll get the following result:

When the right front switch is activated, the right wheel accelerates forward.

The left back switch engages, causing the left wheel to accelerate in the opposite direction.

As a result, your board will immediately turn to the left. This article can assist you if you are having problems riding your hoverboard.

Now, the higher the tilt the wheels feel, the more you lean in that direction. This information is sent to the logic board through the gyroscope. As a result, the ride is smooth and progressive.

The acceleration will be proportional to how much you’re leaning in one way. If this wasn’t a feature, even the tiniest of tilts would send the board flying in one direction at full speed.

Let’s take a look at the technology inside today’s hoverboards.

What’s Inside a Hoverboard?

Image – bestelectrichoverboard.com

A normal hoverboard contains quite a few scientific components under its flashy outlooks. In a standard hoverboard, you’ll find the following:

  • A battery
  • A logic board
  • 2 gyroscopes (one for each wheel)
  • 2 motors (one in each wheel)

The Hoverboard Battery

The heart and soul of your hoverboard is the battery as it is with most electronics. You wouldn’t be able to ride your hoverboard without it.

What batteries do Hoverbaords use?

The Hoverboard is powered with a Lithium-ion batteries with a voltage of 36 to 42 volts. These are used in almost all hoverboards.

Why do hoverboard use Lithium-ion batteries? Because lithium-ion batteries are lightweight and have a high energy density, they’re commonly used in electric rideables because they provide more distance per charge in a tiny package. Hoverboards must be lightweight in order to achieve the best mileage and traverse slopes and terrain, among other things.

Lithium-ion batteries also discharge much more slowly than conventional battery kinds. Even if you leave your hoverboard in the dust for months, you can return to a hoverboard that is virtually completely charged.

The Gyroscopes

While the batteries are the heart and soul, the Gyroscopes are the sense organs. This is where the technology of self-balancing comes into play. The gyroscope next to each wheel receives distinct speed and tilt data.

The information is processed by the gyroscopes and sent to the main logic board.

If your hoverboard is acting up, it’s most likely because the gyroscopes are out of sync. You’ll need to re-calibrate your hoverboard at this point. A calibration will return all values to zero and reset the present condition of your gyroscopes. This will almost certainly resolve your problem.

The Logic Board

Hover boards have logic boards. The logic board on a hoverboard is similar to the motherboard in a computer. In fact, nearly every electrical item has one. Simply put, the logic board connects all of the other components.

The hoverboard’s entire existence is controlled from here, much like a brain. Just like the brain, it receives data (for example, from the gyroscopes) and sends commands to other portions of the board based on that data.

Some hoverboards, for example, feature multiple riding modes. The logic board determines whatever riding mode you are in. From here, you can control the LED lights, power usage, speeds, and more. The power on/off button also transmits a signal to the logic board, indicating whether the device should be turned on or off.

The Hoverboard Wheels & Motors

Now these are the legs of the hoverboard. A hoverboard has two motors. Each wheel has one. This permits the two wheels to accelerate and move at separate rates independently of one another. You wouldn’t be able to turn if this wasn’t the case. Imagine a dull ride like that…

Sensors are geared into each wheel, which read the speed (rpm) and tilt at any given time while riding. This is the data that is transmitted to the gyroscopes. It may only appear to be a wheel, but there are a few technological components at work behind the scenes.

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Kennedy Gedzah

Kennedy Gedzah is a graduate of Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology-KNUST (2018). He is the Owner and has been the lead content creator at Dicytrends.com since 2020. His Passion for providing people with credible and well-researched information on the internet led him to build Dicytrends.com. With more than 5 years of experience in blogging and writing, he has amassed sufficient knowledge on various topics, including biographies, fashion and lifestyles, Entertainment, and more. You can contact him via email: Kgedzah@gmail.com

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