The hoverboard has been a popular mode of transportation for many individuals, particularly among younger generations. These self-balancing electric scooters are an innovative product that has revolutionized the way people move around. But have you ever wondered about the minds behind its creation? Who invented the hoverboard in the first place?
As it turns out, the hoverboard was not invented by a single person but by a group of individuals who worked together to create the technology.
The idea for the hoverboard dates back to 1989 when a group of engineers called the “General Motors Advanced Concepts” team created a prototype of a self-balancing two-wheeled vehicle called the “P.U.M.A.” The P.U.M.A. vehicle was designed with the aim to solve traffic problems and provide a clean mode of transportation.
Fast forward to 2013 when Shane Chen, a Chinese-American inventor, saw the potential of this technology and used it as inspiration for the creation of the first hoverboard. Chen’s patent for the hoverboard was granted on August 18, 2015, and the device quickly became a trend. However, it didn’t take long before legal issues started to emerge when several companies started copying Chen’s design and selling them for cheap prices, leading to safety concerns.
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IO HAWK (Hoverboard Manufacturing)
One company that famously stood out during this time was IO HAWK. The company’s technology for the hoverboard was derived and evolved from Chen’s patented design. They released their hoverboard in 2014 and quickly became popular. However, the company faced lawsuits from Chen for patent infringement, ultimately resulting in a settlement and a sigh of relief for responsible manufacturers and customers.
Another person who played a part in the creation of the hoverboard was Mark Cuban, the billionaire entrepreneur, and owner of the Dallas Mavericks NBA team. Cuban was an early investor in IO HAWK and saw the potential for the product in the market. In a CNN Money interview, Cuban shared his excitement for the product, highlighting its potential impact on the way people travel.
In essence, the creation of the hoverboard was a cumulative effort of several engineers and inventors from different generations and cultures. The invention of the P.U.M.A. vehicle in 1989 paved the way for later designers like Chen and companies such as IO HAWK. This revolutionary technology has not only provided a new mode of transportation but has also inspired other similar products like the electric unicycle and the electric skateboard.
Features of Hoverboard
- Durability and Build Quality
One of the primary features of a hoverboard is its durability and build quality. Hoverboards are constructed of high-quality materials such as aluminum and ABS that provide ultimate strength and stability for the device. These materials can withstand scratches, cracks, and other damaging factors. A good quality hoverboard also comes with strong tires that can handle even the toughest terrains.
- Battery Capacity and Charging Time
The battery capacity and charging time of a hoverboard are other essential features that you need to consider. Most hoverboards come with a battery capacity that ranges from 2000mAh to 5000mAh, which can last up to 15km on a single charge. While some models come with a built-in charger, others require an external adapter to charge. However, with fast-charging technology, most hoverboards can be fully charged within a couple of hours.
- Speed and Control
The speed and control features of a hoverboard are what make it a popular choice for adventurous riders. With a top speed of 10-15km/h, hoverboards can quickly get you to your destination within minutes. Additionally, most hoverboards come with advanced control mechanisms such as gyroscopes and sensors that keep the board stable and allow you to control your movements with ease.
- LED lighting
Another essential feature that is commonly found in hoverboards is LED lighting. Usually, these hoverboards come with bright LED lights on the front, back, and side of the device, illuminating your path when riding during nighttime. The LED lights are not just for show; they also help in enhancing the overall visibility, which is especially important when you’re riding around on the streets.
- Safety and Security Features
Last but not least, safety and security features are paramount when it comes to hoverboards. A good quality hoverboard comes with safety measures that prevent accidents and provide riders with utmost protection. Some of the safety features that you should look for in a hoverboard include fire-resistant materials, battery overcharging protection, anti-slip foot pads, and automatic power-off when not in use.
Making The Hoverboard
- Gather Materials
The first step in building a hoverboard is gathering all the necessary materials. Some of the components you will need include a skateboard deck, two self-balancing scooter motors, two battery packs, bolts and nuts, a battery charger, and a control board. You can easily buy these components online or from a local components store. Ensure you purchase good quality parts that are compatible with each other.
- Assemble the Components
Before you can start assembling the components, you need to check that everything is in working condition. Attach the motors to the skateboard deck, and then connect them to the control board. Before you start adding the battery packs, check all the connections and make any necessary adjustments. Once you are sure everything is in place, add the battery packs, and connect them to the control board.
- Calibrate the Control Board
The control board is an essential component in ensuring the stability of the hoverboard. It receives the signals from the footpads and uses the information to adjust the motor speed. If the board is not calibrated correctly, the hoverboard will not be stable. To calibrate the board, turn the hoverboard on and place it on a level surface. Follow the instructions provided in the manual, and perform a calibration test.
- Test the Hoverboard
Now that you have assembled the hoverboard and calibrated the control board, it’s time to try it out. Make sure you place the hoverboard on a flat surface, and put on all the necessary protective gear, such as a helmet and knee pads. Step on the footpads and lean forward. The hoverboard should move forward. If it does not, you may need to recalibrate the control board or check the connections.
Like any other skill, riding a hoverboard takes practice. Start by practicing in a safe and open area with no obstacles or distractions. Keep your feet parallel and maintain your balance while you move forward. Once you are comfortable with the basics, you can start practicing different tricks and moves.
The invention of the hoverboard is a testament to how innovation and ideas can come from various sources and over different periods. Although the hoverboard was not invented by a single person, it has impacted the way we move around and has sparked creativity and innovation in the market. Today, hoverboards remain a trendy mode of transportation, and their popularity serves as a constant reminder that new ideas and inventions are continually shaping the world we live in.
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Q: What was the first hoverboard?
A: Hendo is the world’s inaugural hoverboard: a skateboard-like engineering marvel that allows riders to levitate up to 1 inch above the ground.
Q: Are hoverboards waterproof?
A: It’s important to note that hoverboards should never be used on wet surfaces, even if they appear only slightly damp. This is because hoverboards are neither waterproof nor water-resistant.
Q: What made hoverboards popular?
A: In 2015, the hoverboard was introduced to the U.S. market, quickly gaining popularity due to its resemblance to Marty McFly’s hoverboard from the film “Back to the Future”. Although it does not actually hover, it remains a beloved device to this day.
Q: Are hoverboards useful?
A: Hoverboard riding can be an excellent calorie-burner. While it may seem less strenuous than hitting the gym, riding a hoverboard for an hour can torch up to 300 calories. Hoverboards engage your core and offer a full-body workout, all without feeling drained or fatigued.