When one thinks of a hoverboard, you might automatically think of the Back To The Future Trilogy when young Marty McFly rides the hoverboard through town. For us 80’s kids, we really didn’t think that it would come to pass as it seemed a little too out of this world. As it turns out, fiction has become reality. Lexus has announced that they have created an actual hoverboard. They unveiled the hoverboard back in June of this year.
Successful testing of the hoverboard took place in Cubelles, Barcelona earlier in the year. Lexus set out to push the boundaries of technology, design, and innovation. The project nicknamed “SLIDE” began about 18 months ago through a collaborative effort between Lexus, scientists from IFW Dresden, and evico GmbH who specialize in magnetic levitation technology.
For testing of the hoverboard, they enlisted professional skateboarder Ross McGouran as the test rider. He pushed the hoverboard to its limits and the team conducted further testing using dynamic surroundings. McGouran stated that it was a different experience for him since he was used to the traditional friction of a skateboard and that it took him a bit to get used to balancing on the board.
The testing took place in a specially constructed hoverpark which combined elements from skateboarding culture with technology. Up to 200 meters of magnetic track was transported from Barcelona to Dresden and laid beneath the hoverpark surface. The hoverboard was able to travel above water during the dynamic test and the final footage for the hoverboard was captured by Henry-Alex Rubin, an award winning director.
Technology within the Lexus Hoverboard includes two cyrostat – reservoirs (in which superconducting materials are kept at 197 degrees through immersion in liquid nitrogen). The board is placed upon the track that has permanent magnets installed under it. This “freezes” the space between the board and the track keeping it the same distance all the time from the track. The force is strong enough for the rider to jump and stand on the board as it hovers.