Surf the Streets with a Single-Wheel Hoverboard

Most of us relate surfing to either the Internet or seas. Likewise, hovering is more of an activity concerning helicopters, quadcopters or drones. Marry the two and what you have is a hoverboard, with which you can surf the streets and hover while window-shopping. Most astonishingly, the hoverboard does all this with a single wheel – see it in action.

With a top speed of 26 kmph and a range of 19 Km, the single-wheel Hoverboard may not be an ideal device for actually hovering in midair similar to what a drone does. However, it is the closest you can get to hovering while balancing on the ground on a single wheel. The 10-inch wheel has a board mounted atop it on which the user stands. When the user leans to one side, the wheel speeds up in that direction and slows down if the user leans the other way, ultimately to change direction. In between, the user can balance to keep the wheel immobile – that is, hover.

According to Hoverboard Technologies, the manufacturer of the single-wheeled electric skateboard, it is a faster way of getting about and it charges quickly. The Hoverboard has API connectivity and uses sonar technology to stay stable. The entire unit weighs 11 Kg and has a 5 KW motor to power it. The motor and its driving electronics, including the battery, forms the drive-unit positioned at the center of the wheel.

The electronics allows the battery to charge completely in about 20 minutes. A sonar detection system below the board allows it to self-balance and keep it parallel to the ground. When slowing down or when going downhill, Hoverboard uses regenerative braking to recover energy and charge the board.

The single-wheel board also offers feedback to its rider. An LCD on the board does this effectively. For night-time riding, the board has LED lighting, while built-in speakers break the monotony of a long ride by playing music. Although playing music does not consume appreciable amounts of power, the LED lighting may reduce the power available for the motor by about ten percent.

However, riders may not be keen to lean over and read the LCD on the board when surfing the streets. Therefore, the manufacturers have added another useful feature – a mobile app for Android and iOS. The app runs on a smart mobile device connected to the board wirelessly via Bluetooth. Using the app, users can check the charge level and health of the battery, while setting the top speed limit of the board. Users can also customize the lighting on the board, while choosing the song to play. At the same time, one can view raw data such as the distance traveled, the average speed and the top speed the board has reached in its travel.

Owners of the Hoverboard can open it up and service it because Hoverboard Technologies has designed it that way. They claim to have done so to ensure the board has a maximum lifespan. Owners can swap out the components and replace them with improved modules from the company for upgrading their Hoverboard on their own.