The future is here! Just like out childhood cartoons promised us, we now have hovercraft technology. About time, right?
The Hendo Hoverboard uses a magnetic field that allows it, and a full-sized human on top, to defy gravity and hover above the ground. Despite Earnshaw’s theorem, which says that equilibrium can never be reached between two magnets, the Hendo uses a principle called magnetic field architecture to create stabilized movement. The board can be also propelled forward using this principle, and the Hendo was designed to react smoothly and naturally to the user’s motions.
To be technical, this technology already exists with high-speed rail, which uses electromagnetic currents to float the cars above the tracks, eliminating friction and allowing for a smooth, fast ride. The hoverboard, though, opens up the possibility of using hover technology for personal use, away from set tracks.
Due to its operation, the Hendo requires a non-ferromagnetic surface to work–that means roughly, no transitional metals. Because of this, the creators of Hendo have also designed a special “hoverpark” as a place to demonstrate the board’s abilities.
The board doesn’t soar very high off the ground; think of it more like a skateboard without wheels, only the Hendo would be able to go up slopes with less energy, as it reacts to the surface.
Greg and Jill Henderson, the founders of Hendo, know that a hoverboard might not be the next big thing in transportation technology. However, they regard the hoverboard, and its hover engine, as the first step in a possible new direction for vehicles and travel. It’s a technology that can be built upon to create more practical applications.
Right now, the hoverboard is still a prototype, and Hendo is actively seeking funding via Kickstarter, and hopes to expand the technology so that it’s more widely available in the near future.