How can we forget Back to the Future Part II when talking about hoverboards? Yes, a California startup built a hoverboard, a real file hoverboard!
Arx Pax is trying to crowdfund Hendo, a hoverboard built as proof of concept of the hover engine technology. While, its not the kind of hoverboard that you can take outside and ride wherever you want, but its a big leap forward. The hendo hoverboard is no toy though, it can easily support up to 300 pounds and uses the same technology used in MagLev trains. This means that it requires a surface made of non-ferrous metals (copper or aluminum) to levitate. You can turn the hoverboard by putting more weight on one side.
The Hendo hoverboard came about as a result of a different idea. This technology was initially meant to be used to save buildings from earthquakes by lifting them above their foundations. Henderson himself said that:
“If you can levitate a train that weighs 50,000 kilograms, why not a house?”
This would keep the house would safe from an impending earthquake as long as it is levitating. This idea might be as fictional as a hoverboard, but the team intends to reach this long-term goal some day. For now, they’re making hoverboards.
The Hendo “white box” is currently on Kickstarter. Those who pay at least $299 will get a package containing the hover engine and hover surface to play with. They hope this will encourage people to use hover technology in new ways.
“The most important piece of it all for me is the idea of taking away the limitations of how we think about problems in general. Not just thinking outside the box, but off the page,”
We can adapt solutions to problems by using hover technology.
“When you do that — when you approach problems that were seemingly impossible in different ways — you’ll never cease to be amazed by the solutions you can come up with.” Henderson said.
They set up some really nice incentives for backers on Kickstarter. 250 backers at the $100 level will get a five-minute ride on one of the hendo prototypes, and backing $1,000 will get you a one hour ride, private coaching included. The first 10 backers to give $10,000 get their very own hoverboard which will get delivered to them on 10/21/2015 (when Marty McFly arrives in the future).