Whether you plan to purchase a hoverboard or already own one, planning to get one for yourself, it is natural to wonder how it works. We are surrounded by fiction movies that tell tales of it being able to read your mind and react accordingly.
Is this true, or is there a different explanation of how does a hoverboard work?
Join me in this article as I explore the complex nature of the hoverboard’s functionality. We will look at the parts that make up a hoverboard and exactly how they function.
A hoverboard, commonly known as the self-balancing scooter, is made up of several essential parts. Each component, no matter how small, is important in the board’s overall proper function and safety.
Let us first look at three sensors that are important in making the board work.
The accelerometer uses variable capacitance to measure position. It does so in 3 linear dimensions or Cartesian Coordinates. Each dimension has capacitors, and one of the capacitor plates remains constant while the other varies its position.
The capacitor plates are sensitive to positional changes, and the distance between the plates causes the capacitance to change. Because of this, voltage changes as well, giving a value we can quantify and monitor. You can use this value when necessary.
Doubtless, this is an essential part of the hoverboard, and it is often termed the Gyro scooter. It uses any mass shifts within the gyro to measure angular changes when riding. In essence, it relates to any movements you make from your base gravitational center.
There are two types of gyroscope, mechanical and electrical. The mechanical gyroscope has a central rotor and metal rims. Its electric counterpart uses the Coriolis Effect. The Coriolis Effect is a force that occurs, which is perpendicular to the direction of mass moving at a certain velocity. It is also perpendicular to the exerted external velocity with an axis perpendicular to the motion.
The Coriolis force causes a resultant perpendicular mass displacement. Because of this, capacitance and voltage will change, giving a value that corresponds to a certain angle rate.
This part of the hoverboard employs the Hall Effect principle to measure the earth’s field’s magnetic field. If you plan to make your hoverboard, you may overlook this component.
Other Parts of a hoverboard
Aside from the components as mentioned earlier, other essential parts make up a hoverboard. If you are curious or plan to make your board, here is a comprehensive list of all the components that make up a hoverboard. Of course depending on your budget components price will differ. If you are planning to make a board under 200 you will need to select parts carefully keeping range in mind.
I have also included the components as mentioned above to use it as a checklist when buying parts.
- A frame made of steel, with a pivot device at the center
- A plastic shell cover protects and holds all the parts of the hoverboard together.
- Logic board (Motherboard)
- Two Gyroscopes
- 2 infrared sensors ( each foot needs one)
- Two electric motors that are in each wheel for each foot
- Two speed or tilt sensors again put inside each wheel, one for each foot
- Pressure pads with two switches, one in front and the other at the back
- LED lights, a charging port, a power switch, and a remote control ( optional)
- Battery Pack
Some Hoverboard Parts
How Does a Hoverboard Work?
So, how exactly do these components work together for the board to work well?
A hoverboard should glide effortlessly and take you with it so let us now look at exactly how it does this. Generally, a hoverboard should sense and react to your movements like slowing down if your weight leans backward.
When you switch on your hoverboard, and you hop on, several reactions take place simultaneously. These reactions help you to balance, start moving, and keep you on the hoverboard. Here is a simplified on a step by step guide on technical explanation of what happens when you stand on a hoverboard.
1. On the very top of the hoverboard are two pressure pads. And this is where you should place your feet when riding. Under these pressure pads, there are two rubber pieces that work together with the gyroscope as switches.
These switches sense how your weight is distributed on the board maintaining center of gravity. It helps you go forwards, backward and also facilitates the turning function.
As soon as you step on the pressure pads, the pressure pads are pushed into the rubber triggers.
2. This breaks infrared sensor. This sensor sends data flow to the motherboard, telling the board that the rider is now on. As soon as this happens, the hoverboard begins to balance.
3. Simultaneously, when the infrared LED Sensors are broken and light get interrupted, the brushless motors kick in. They are actually the ones that allow you to move forward or backward.
Wheels for all-terrain hoverboards are bigger than ordinary E-scooters for controlling purpose.
4. You will notice that the hoverboard has two wheels. In each wheel are an electric motor and a speed sensor. Tilt sensors are housed As you start riding, a reading of the RPM in each wheel is taken. This feed or signal goes to your hoverboard’s motherboard.
5. The motherboard (logic board or control board) uses this feed to detect your current speed.
The motherboard is considered as the brain of the hoverboard. It works like a mini-computer in your hoverboard, processing data and giving feedback to the hoverboard’s different parts. Any tilt signals obtained from the gyroscope are detected and processed by the logic board.
6. The motherboard now processes all the raw data from the sensors and gyroscope. And it has a very high processing speed, which can process millions of data bytes per second!
7. When the processing stage is done, it sends feedback back to the motors. The feedback prompts them to take a specified action. Thus, the basic functioning of a hoverboard relies on the sensors correctly sending information to the motherboard. The sensors tell the logic board how you are standing or which direction you are leaning towards. Then the motherboard should relay information back to the sensors to tell them what to do.
Thus, your movements and weight distribution tell the hoverboard how to function. It is this function that most fiction movies play with to make it seem as if the board can ‘read your brain.’
Some best branded hoverboards like Hover 1 electric self-balancing scooter include a remote control as a bonus feature. While you can do without it, it certainly makes your life easier. The remote control has a couple of functions it performs, which include locking the hoverboard when you are not using it and switching the hoverboard’s modes. The modes include beginners’ mode, which is much easier to master, and control for a novice rider.
It also includes Bluetooth feature that enables the hoverboard to play music while commuting. It connects with your smartphone via Bluetooth and can be controlled by mobile app. There are some hoverboards in market that are recognized as best bluetooth hoverboard.
After reading through this post, I am sure you are now well versed in how a hoverboard works and are eager to get your own if you haven’t already. Accidents in the past may make you uneasy about getting your own as they seemed to pose a fire hazard and more.
However, you would be so happy to know that they are now much safer as today hoverboards are made in proper way fulfilling some mandatory test. Physical property test, Chemical test, UL 2272, UL 2271, UL1310, UL1012, UL2580, UL1642,UL 2054 and many more certifications are required for companies to market the product. Hoverboard manufacturing has gone back to the future.
You just need to make sure you get your hoverboard from a reputable source, and its certification is a must to ensure its safety. Always try to buy hoverboards from reputed companies. Swagtron is one of the most reputed brands present in the market. Read Swagtron Hover review here.
Do not deny yourself the joy of riding a hoverboard and start riding today.
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