Engineering 101

Watch This! Lexus Lets Skateboarders Test Out Its New Hoverboard

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Remember back in June when Lexus started teasing us about its new hoverboard technology? Well, it really does exist and the company put it to the test by letting skateboarders try it out in a final testing phase in Barcelona.

Lexus released its full-length testing video and finally gave us the whole hoverboard story.

The Lexus Hoverboard was born about a year and half ago from a team of scientists from IFW Dresden and evico GmbH, who specialize in magnetic levitation technology. Pro skateboarder Ross McGouran was a major player in the testing of the hoverboard in Germany, but the team wanted to get the hoverboard in dynamic surroundings for even further testing so it designed the Hoverpark which combines characteristics of traditional skate boarding courses with innovative technology.

The hoverboard team shipped over 650 feet of magnetic track to Barcelona, where the park was constructed, to lay beneath the skate surface in order to begin dynamic testing — letting Lexus show off hoverboard tricks like gliding across water.

“I’ve spent 20 years skateboarding, but without friction it feels like I’ve had to learn a whole new skill, particularly in the stance and balance in order to ride the overboard. It’s a whole new experience,” said Ross McGouran, pro skateboarder and hoverboard test rider.

 

The technology behind the Lexus Hoverboard

So how does a hoverboard actually work?  Well, it consists of two “cryostats”—reservoirs in which superconducting material is kept at -197 degrees through immersion in liquid nitrogen. The board is then placed above a track equipped with permanent magnets. This actually freezes the magnetic field from the track into the superconductors on the hoverboard, providing a force so strong that it actually keeps the board “hovering.”

The force is so strong that it allows riders to stand on the board’s bamboo exterior and even jump while still holding up.

When it’s fully loaded with 50 ounces of nitrogen and 32 superconductor bulks, the Lexus Hoverboard weighs in at about 25 lbs.

Don’t get too excited though, the company emphasizes that the hoverboard is still a prototype created as part of its Amazing in Motion innovation campaign and will not be for sale (but we can still dream).

Lexus International provides even more information about the development and testing of the board in a series of YouTube videos found here.

For more information about the Amazing in Motion campaign visit the website.

 

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