The Hoverboard You Can Build At Home

Press embargoes lifted today, heralding the announcement of the world’s first hoverboard. Yes, the hovering skateboard from Back to the Future. It’s called the Hendo hoverboard, it’s apparently real, and you can buy one for $10,000. If that’s too rich for your blood, you can spend $900 for a ‘technology demonstrator’ – a remote-controlled hovering box powered by the same technology.

Of course the world’s first hoverboard is announced to the world as a crowd funding campaign, so before we get to how this thing is supposed to work, we’ll have to do our due diligence. The company behind this campaign, Arx Pax Labs, Inc, exists, as does the founder. All the relevant business registration, biographical information, and experience of the founder and employees of Arx Pax check out to my satisfaction. In fact, at least one employee has work experience with the innards of electric motors. At first glance, the company itself is actually legit.

The campaign is for a BttF-style hoverboard, but this is really only a marketing strategy for Arx Pax; the hoverboards themselves are admittedly loss leaders even at $10,000 – the main goal of this Kickstarter is simply to get media attention to the magnetic levitation technology found in the hoverboard. All of this was carefully orchestrated, with a ‘huge event’ to be held exactly one year from today demonstrating a real, working hoverboard. What’s so special about demoing a hoverboard on October 21, 2015?

next year

I defy anyone to come up with a better marketing campaign than this.

The meat of the story comes from what has until now been a scientific curiosity. Everyone reading this has no doubt seen superconductors levitated off a bed of magnets, and demonstrations of eddy currents are really just something cool you can do with a rare earth magnet and a copper pipe. What [Greg Henderson] and Arx Pax have done is take these phenomena and turned them into a platform for magnetic levitation.

According to the patent, the magnetic levitation system found in the Hendo hoverboard works like this:

  • One or more electric motors spin a series of rotors consisting of an arrangement of strong permanent magnets.
  • The magnets are arranged in a Halbach array that enhances the magnetic field on one side of the array, and cancels it on the other.
  • By placing the rotors over a conductive, non-ferrous surface – a sheet of copper or aluminum, for example – eddy currents are induced in the conductive surface.
  • These eddy currents create a magnetic field that opposes the magnetic field that created it, causing the entire device to levitate.

hoverboard

That’s it. That’s how you create a real, working hoverboard. Arx Pax has also developed a method to control a vehicle equipped with a few of these hover disks; the $900 ‘Whitebox’ technology demonstrator includes a smart phone app as a remote control.

If you’re still sitting in a steaming pile of incredulity concerning this invention, you’re in good company. It’s a fine line between being blinded by brilliance and baffled by bullshit, so we’re leaving this one up to you: build one of these devices, put it up on hackaday.io, and we’ll make it worth your while. We’re giving away some gift cards to the Hackaday store for the first person to build one of these hoverboards, preferably with a cool body kit. The Star Wars landspeeder has already been done, but the snowspeeder hasn’t. Surprise us.

160 thoughts on “The Hoverboard You Can Build At Home

    1. Actually, there’s been a bit of an argument here about that. It only needs to be conductive and non-ferrous, so aluminum could be used. In fact, that’s mentioned in the Kickstarter.

      The ‘demo half pipe’ covered by a few other blogs show it’s made of copper. The economics of copper vs. aluminum raises a few questions, so we’re not sure if it will work with aluminum. The copper half pipe does look cooler, though.

      1. Why would aluminum raise questions? It only needs to be a material that’s paramagnetic. The induced eddy current in these materials produces a countering magnetic field.

        Search youtube for those demos where you drop a magnet down an aluminum tube. My guess is that you get a stronger effect with copper because it has higher conductivity.

        1. If it works with aluminum, it would be much cheaper to build the half pipe out of aluminum. Right now, copper is $3/lb, while aluminum is $0.87/lb. For a company, the difference isn’t that much, and maybe they just picked copper because it looked cooler and performed marginally better. If I were building a metal half pipe, I wouldn’t waste that much money on copper.

          1. No idea then why they chose copper – I was speculating previously that better conductivity might have something to do with it. The resistivity of copper is nearly half that of aluminum. Lower resistivity gives stronger eddy currents (less loss), so a stronger field is induced? Might be possible that the reduced force makes the whole thing not work at all.. without actually sitting down to look at the physics, it’s hard to say. ;)

          2. I wonder if some of the newer copper-aluminium alloys might be worth investing in – Or does the alloying process completely corrupt the paramagnetic effect? Beyond my knowledge, I’m afraid, but I understand that they are used in eddy current brakes and home energy meters because of these effects?

            For that matter, isn’t Oxygen paramagnetic? I know nitrogen (N2) isn’t so the ante is upped by the mere 21% and lack of conductivity, put perhaps add a fine mist? Maybe a Pit Bull is within reach?

          3. Its denser. That may be why. Technically aluminum is superior to copper in a number of ways, but in practice having much more of the material in the same amount of space wins out. For instance, by weight aluminum is superior in thermal conductivity, but because density is virtually always more important, copper wins.

          4. How thick does this have to be? I strongly suspect that the copper is not 0.001″ thick here. If you have ever tried to get a very large magnet to stick to a thin steel sheet, you will quickly notice that despite the fact that the magnet is gigantic, the actual attraction is very small. Now, take the same huge magnet and stick it against a cubic foot of steel and you might not be able to remove the magnet without leverage or other assistance.

            The same thing happens when you toss a magnet down the middle of a paramagnetic pipe. The thicker the pipe is, the more it slows down the fall of the magnet. So much so that you can slow things down into the several minute time frame before they exit the non ferrous pipe. This does not happen with a thin walled pipe.

        2. Would copper-plating (which is easy!) aluminium be as good? I suppose it’s to do with the resistance, ultimately, but the effect of having a wide layer of copper, even if it’s very thin, might be good enough.

      2. I can answer many of your questions. I am slightly shell shocked having found out about this. I have independently been working on a near identical version. Yes it looks like I lost the race. Still in answer to your questions:
        Is it true?: Yes, of course
        Does aluminium work: Yes, as it is cheaper that is what we have used
        Why use copper?: The conductivity is higher meaning the lift efficiency is higher. Less power required for the same lift weight. Since they need to optimise the socks off it just to make it man carrying they have taken a hit on the halfpipe cost.
        How thick does it have to be?: Not thin. I still haven’t optimised thickness. It gets better lift the thicker it is but the benefit tails off above about 15mm. It may be a skin effect for the AC eddy currents generated…
        Does it work on water?: No. even a saturated salt solution is many orders of magnitude too restistive to work, and if it you could spin super conducter powered ubermagnets the water would dissapate almost all of your energy meaning you would need a huge amount of power for hardly any lift.
        Don’t believe it can be done by the hobbiest? You should have come to maker faire in Brighton, UK this year. We demoed a system similar to the ‘white box’. We haven’t got as good control (or Mark can’t drive;) but see a video here:

        I will upload a better video of the quad rotor hovering but for now I include an earlier twin rotor test that is stabilised by cable ties here:

        I am also adding a hackaday project now whichshould be on soon

    1. Not going to be happening with this tech. As your distance from the plate grows the strength of magnet you need goes up by a square factor.
      Also multiple objects will interact in fun ways

        1. A vehicle that requires roads lined with scare resources, and at the nearest hint or a furrow or hillock bemires itself, ungracefully digging itself further asunder?

          Preposterous!

          I can hardly see the vast tracts of our farmland divided by a linear wasteland of bitumen and crushed rock, merely in pursuit of some dream of efficiency and speed through minor improvements in friction.

          I, for one, will stick to more cobbled roads.

      1. I think battery life will the issue – 10 minutes of hovering on 2 hour charge for just lifting one person.
        But then, you would save a lot on forward momentum due to it being near frictionless.

  1. I love the video with the kid. Made it seem kind of professional :) But this is a waste. We dont live in an entire metal floored world and wont be able to replace all the ground to make this more useful. Time for me to invent ANTI-GRAVITY skateboard… (no the same as hoverboard…) lol

    1. IF this is for real there could easily be aluminum (or copper) floored skate parks. No, I don’t see such a thing happening on all the city streets and sidewalks (not to mention courthouse fountains!) but skate parks alone would be good enough to make it interesting.

  2. From the kickstarter page, concerning price:

    “Just like any new technology, the price early on is high. Look at computers – only 15 years ago memory cost around $100 per Gigabyte; now its around $.01! And we’re going to move much faster than that!”

    Are they trying to imply that Moore’s Law applies to their product? Magnets, motors, batteries, and labor will halve in cost every… er… ever? Magnets and motors are pretty much capped out as far as consumer technology. Battery cost is on a slow steady march downward while labor cost is on a slow steady march upward. Neither is anywhere near as fast as chip fab was, much less the claimed “much faster than that”.

    “Look! It’s technology you don’t understand! It will get exponentially cheaper with time like an unrelated technology you don’t understand!”

      1. Ha,I didn’t even read that part at the bottom, but spot on. Not sure if its ignorance, or typo. If it was $.01 per MB and was referring to flash memory then I think that would work out. $20 for 20GB of flash.

  3. Cool idea, but I wonder how much power it requires to support a human weight. Can it support a human weight, can it support any weight? If you stop in one place does the ground catch fire? Cool idea but missing a lot of specs.

      1. I’m really not sure about the responses there…

        There’s no way you can give a ‘universal’ power needed for straight levitation, because fundamentally, you don’t need any. It doesn’t cost energy to keep something 1 meter off the ground – your chair doesn’t need a battery. With magnetic levitation, you have two magnetic fields that oppose each other, one from a permanent magnet, and one from induced eddy currents. The power consumption here is due to the finite conductivity of the metal – the power lost in the resistance of the metal. If the surface had infinite conductivity, it wouldn’t cost any power to levitate at all (the Meissner effect).

        It’s not just the conductivity of the metal that matters, though – the magnetic field arrangement matters as well. This is where the Inductrack idea comes from – you use a Halbach array to focus the magnetic field in the direction you care (downward).

        In fact, we can use the Inductrack details to guess as to what the power consumption might be. The lift force needed is around 1 kN. The Inductrack article here:

        http://physics.indiana.edu/~brabson/p310/MagLev.pdf

        suggests a lift-to-drag ratio of around 5 travelling at 10 km/h. So that means the drag is around 200 N, moving at 10 km/h, which gives a power required of around 600 W (force times velocity). Not too crazy – but the lift-to-drag *increases* as you go faster, since the drag force is inversely proportional to speed, so what if you could spin the magnets *really* fast? Like say, a magnet spinning at 5 cm at 2000 rpm? That doesn’t sound too bad, and it’s around 40 km/h – now we’re down to 150 W.

        Note that this is really, really, handwaved, so I’m not suggesting it’s real. But suggesting you absolutely require kilowatts of power looks wrong. And for reference, in the Reddit link, the example that they gave used an electromagnet to generate the alternating magnetic field, which is going to be way worse than a mechanically spinning permanent magnet.

        1. I have an inkle skin depth is going to limit things before physical copper depth does. The faster the disks spin the more force, but the lower the skin depth and the higher the effective resistivity.

          I have another inkle that there is a maximum force for a given surface area of magnet no matter what the rotational speed.

          1. I knew you meant inkling, but I had to look up inkle anyway. Just in case anyone else cares:
            noun
            1.a linen tape used for trimmings.
            2.the linen thread or yarn from which this tape is made.

        2. I…don’t think that’s correct thinking….If the chemical bond between two molecules is less than the force or energy applied it breaks. And chairs, and such break all the time…So long as gravity exists and your in a local field, then somehow you have to hold yourself together, with energy. But I think the more appropriate terminology is force. How much force is required to lift a person off the ground, which is simple, its your mass times local gravity, or newtons. So really the magnets just need to exert more newtons in a polar opposite of the eddy currents at contact, and then stabilize at the force of the carrier or human at one inch, to then claim 1inch levitation. So then its just a mathematical representation of surface area of magnet exposed to surface of material, depth of material, and the magnetic field density of the magnets used. This wouldn’t be very hard to figure out, in fact quite trivial. Another point is, this isn’t frictionless, its just less friction of movement, for if it was frictionless, there would be no levitation.

          1. “So really the magnets just need to exert more newtons in a polar opposite of the eddy currents at contact, and then stabilize at the force of the carrier or human at one inch, to then claim 1inch levitation.”

            Exactly. And power is force times velocity. No velocity? No power, regardless of what the force is. It doesn’t take power to generate a force.

            But the magnets alone won’t work, because a static magnet can’t generate an eddy current. The magnetic field has to be changing. That’s what makes it difficult. You have a moving magnet, generating an opposing magnetic field through an eddy current. That’s a recipe for needing a numerical simulation.

            “Another point is, this isn’t frictionless”

            Yes it is. Friction is resistance to motion between two surfaces in contact, proportional to the normal force between the two surfaces. No surfaces in contact = no friction.

            There are other forces involved: atmospheric drag, magnetic drag, etc. But not friction.

  4. The patent does discuss, in believable terms, how this works for the case of hovering. I do not see anything in the patent about directionality or control, other than simple hovering. Any thoughts? Clearly, the base architecture calls for 4 ‘wheels’ for stability, and the speed of each wheel is variable – perhaps this variability yeilds directionality?

    1. If the hovering mechanism works for a human being, 50kgs say, then a small fraction of that for motive power would not be difficult. You could have tank track like array of magnets at each side.

    2. From the video, it looks like they’re using 4 ‘hover motors’. I’m guessing that a difference in rotational speed produces different induced eddy currents, setting up a gradient, and pulling the whole unit in the direction of the gradient.

  5. Damn it!
    Why do I keep seeing old ideas I had pop up with a kickstarter?
    I remember having the exact SAME idea after hearing about inductrack, probably still have the doodles I made about it in an old pad..
    Oh well life moves on…

  6. if its limited to a highly modified area, why not but the bury active components under the ground all over the surface, then let anyone with a plank of aluminium ride it.
    Lugging around all the batteries just to keep a person afloat for 10 minutes will make the boards cumbersome.

  7. I’m pretty sure anybody who is familiar with E&M will note that this will only work if the magnets are EXTREMELY close to the metal surface. Also, the floor will optimally need to be unbroken panels. The gaps between the panels will greatly reduce the eddy-currents generated in proximity to them.
    So, sure it’s physically sound but it’s not commercially sound. Then again, when has that ever stopped crowd funding?

    1. It works. Has a patent. Has a working prototype. Not at all outlandish monetary goal. Better than 99% of kickstarters I’d say. Very impressive.

      @pablo, I thought copper could only be brazed. Different metals mean bad news. Checked before saying anything (yay for integrity). Apparently you can weld copper with an identical alloy, but it sucks down power. It would make for an incredibly good connection.

  8. Assuming all the other physics are correct the efficiency of this will go down dramatically the less conductive the hover surface is. I am actually surprised (skeptical) that they got this to work over copper.

    A side effect of the reduced efficiency is that the energy lost will be converted almost directly into heat. To maintain the weight of a human floating even an inch or two above the surface you will need to induce some serious eddy currents. Effectively you are creating an inductive heater (forge) with this unit. If you stay in one place for long you could melt the metal with just the eddy currents used to keep this floating.

    Maybe one of the physics geniuses on here could calculate the energy required to offset gravity for a 175 pound person over time. This would give us a baseline measurement for how much energy this is using and transferring to that metal plate. From there you would need to calculate expected losses due to the resistance of copper.

    I am not necessarily calling this a scam, but I think they are getting very optimistic on their physics.

    If we only had room temperature superconductors…hmm.

          1. Umm, gravity accelerates the mass down at 9.8 meters/sec weather we like it or not. A force which they are claiming is being generated by eddy currents needs to push against that acceleration to keep the board floating in the air. There is a cost to that. I am not trying to be sarcastic, I am truly curious what amount of force is required to keep a human levitated against the force of gravity pulling the person down.

    1. It doesn’t take ANY energy to simply hold something still in a gravitational field, only give something a greater gravitational potential. The amount it’s actually going to take to keep a person floating on one of these things is going to be totally dependent on the magnets and floor.

      Aside from any actual lifting the board has to do, 100% of the energy put into spinning the magnet arrays is going to go to keeping eddy currents flowing through the resistance of the floor. A superconductive material wouldn’t actually need any power at all to keep something afloat.

      1. I am going to disagree with you on that one. There has to be a equivalent force to offset the acceleration due to gravity 9.8m/s*s. We all push on the ground with a certain amount of force. The solid ground just resists that force and we don’t go anywhere.

        in this case the same amount of force would need to be generated to oppose the force of gravity pulling us towards the ground. You are correct if you are saying no work is being done, but that is different from the force required to keep the board and person floating.

        In the case of a super conductor a force is being generated as the magnet approaches the superconductor. This causes eddy currents inside the superconductor that exactly oppose the magnetic field of the magnet. In the case of the superconductor these eddies keep going without losing power. With even minor resistance these eddy currents will go away very quickly.

        As good as copper is at conducting its resistance would turn those eddy currents into heat fairly quickly. As the copper heats up it gains resistance and becomes more inefficient. This pattern wouldn’t end well for the hover board.

        1. Well, there’s not going to be a clean and simple calculation. The system can be thought of as two magnets repelling each other. One mounted on the board, and another in the ground/metal. They come closer until the forces cancel out, and they reach a static equilibrium with no energy required. Now, we swap the ground magnet for an electromagnet in a superconductor. There’s a flow of electrons in the superconductor, but that doesn’t take any energy because there’s nothing to slow them down. Again, we reach equilibrium with no energy. Let’s say now that the resistance of the material is on a slider, with 0 resistance on one end, and infinite resistance on the other. As we move the slider, the power required to maintain that electron flow increases from nothing, to undetectable, to negligible, and then up to requiring an entire power plant and more. The energy required to maintain the system is only reliant upon the resistance of the material used. The calculations get hideous when you realize the path taken by that electron flow looks like an undulating swirly cloud (technical term). You’d probably have to simulate it procedurally in a supercomputer instead of solving it mathematically.

    2. Well, as for the feasibility, I’m not sure, but there has been work in calculations/simulations of this (or similar, depending on how you look at it).

      http://www.jpier.org/PIERB/pierb43/14.12072414.pdf
      Is from a peer-reviewed journal, but I haven’t had the time to go through in depth. That’s from a quick google search – there may be other papers out and about…

      Their numbers, It looks like you’ll have to dissipate 2.5kW of thermal energy in the “ground” (not electrical) plane in order to lift 200N (‘Average’ 70kg person will need about 700N), unless I’m reading it wrong.

      This will give somewhere around (using ~1 J/g*K) a 2.5 degree Celcius increase in a 1kg ‘section’ of Al, per second (for 2.5kW). So, at least from a theoretical point of view, I can’t say that it’s infeasible.

      1. And while I’m at it, I think the calculation above shows why you wouldn’t want the active ‘spinning magnets’ on the ground while you ride around on an Al or Cu board – over a bit of time, your small board will get quite warm; possibly uncomfortably so. Whereas if you’re moving over the ‘ground’ plane, it can conduct the heat away from the initial source, and the source is moving; thus the chance of something getting ‘uncomfortably warm’ is reduced… and you’re not touching said heatsink as you’re “hovering” around.

        1. Even with a well designed Halbach array you will have some of the magnetic field fluctuating around above the board. You better not have any metal on your shoes. Even the human body is somewhat conductive. The inductive heating on your feet could get a bit uncomfortable.

          I think I am going to let the kids down the road try this before I jump on.

      2. In that paper the 2.5 kW was burned generating 200 N of lift *and* about 100 N of thrust – I think the magnetic field setup here is different, since they’re not trying to generate significant thrust. If you read the patent, the rotation direction of the magnet is parallel to the surface, as opposed to that paper, where it’s perpendicular.

        The power required is going to be completely dependent on the magnetic field geometry, so it’s hard to compare.

        1. This is true, the B field geometry is different. However, since the actual method of operation is similar, it should have a similar efficiency (and correspondingly similar power loss), though other parameters might change (such as height).

          Of course, you might be right in that regard too, where this could be too different of a setup to look at power loss; but here, in spite of the differences (including the field configuration), I think I’m going to disagree with that.

          I’m also going to think about it further – it may be possible to double-check this without having to go this in depth – perhaps by trying to figure out just how much eddy current is generated and using that to determine power loss with the conductivity of the ground plane (though that may be too simple). Or a similar analysis…

          1. Well, the fact that it generates thrust as well as lift already says that it’s not going to have a similar efficiency.

            I mean, in the first case in Fig. 7 the thrust force at the end is generating 1 kW of mechanical power. So you could guess that the 2.5 kW there, if you weren’t trying to generate thrust, would be more like 1-1.5 kW.

  9. OMG!! can you imagine if they made solar frekkin roadways out of copper on top of the solar panels and then powered the hoverboards using the solar energy (that’s now buried under snow, and copper sheets!)! OMG!

    If you say it can’t be done, you just aren’t a dreamer I guess.

  10. If anyone else claimed this i would laugh and walk away … i mean “hover engine” “MFA” … but i have heard of these guys before and this all seems legit and would kill the company if they were caught in a lie … im not buying shit because they dont even talk about how it works … but still

      1. The Halbach array that they seem to be using would create a relatively continuous magnetic field across the base of the disk. Spinning it wouldn’t really cause any eddy currents. If this is real then they must be adjusting the array to cause ripples in the magnetic field.

  11. Hmm.. I have some formulae here for a 229K material.
    Really should see if it works sometime, its pretty novel but the physics of CDW interference nulling actually makes sense, a closed cryostat system would take care of having to keep it at -53C.

  12. Ok, so I’ll ask what no one else did.

    Can a human even stay upright and balanced, on top of a reasonably-sized hoverboard that can move frictionlessly in two dimensions?

    The closest existing real-world parallel might be to stand on a buoyant object floating on still water. Which I don’t think I’ve seen done, unless at least one of the object’s dimensions approaches the height of the rider.

      1. I think his concern is that while the board may stay perfectly level, nothing is stopping it from sliding in any horizontal direction, so you not only have to stop it sliding out the front or back like a skateboard, but also left and right.

        1. It’s essentially just a really cool unicycle.

          Except unicycles have some angular momentum keeping them stable left/right when moving.

          Shifting weight from one foot to the other or leaning forward/backward should keep you on it fairly well. It won’t be as easy as standing still but it’s more than possible.

    1. Actually it would have some resistance to sliding out from under you. As you moved sideways it would create eddy currents that oppose your movement. If this is real then I expect it would actually resist sliding around.

      I think they are generating forward thrust by changing the configuration of the magnets. Not sure exactly how they accomplish this, but it is interesting.

    2. “Chris C. says:
      October 21, 2014 at 12:10 pm
      Ok, so I’ll ask what no one else did.

      Can a human even stay upright and balanced, on top of a reasonably-sized hoverboard that can move frictionlessly in two dimensions?

      The closest existing real-world parallel might be to stand on a buoyant object floating on still water. Which I don’t think I’ve seen done, unless at least one of the object’s dimensions approaches the height of the rider.”

      How does the Silver Surfer do it? :-)

  13. Whether or not this story is true or not is anyone’s guess. However, a controversial scientist from Russia and a Italian physicists are getting very close to those devices that where under Marty McFly’s hover board in the movie. Of course the 2 scientist have no idea about any hover board or even the movie, but have gotten many people in Skunkwork-esque “black projects” very upset (i.e Boeing, NASA, BaE, etc.). Why upset? Because they can’t duplicate their work in the lab so they try and discredit it.

    Dr’s Podkletnov and Modanese have discovered a process they call “Impulse Gravity Generator Based on Charged Y Ba2Cu3O7−y Superconductor with Composite Crystal
    Structure”. It essentially sends out a gravity wave which would repel an object. If under a hover board it would be repel upward. Think of the ramifications…

    Here is the white paper. I hope you can understand it: http://arxiv.org/pdf/physics/0108005.pdf

    Dr. Podkletnov already mastered the partial reduction in gravity over a spinning super-cooled ceramic disk. And then NASA’s Dr. Ning Li “rediscovered” it (i.e. like Columbus discovering America?). Now she quit NASA to start her own AG company as a contractor and is working for US Army Redstone Arsenal. She gives no credit to Dr. Podkletnov.

    Dr. Podkletnov may loose credit from some mainstream scientists probably due to his early affiliations with pseudo-scientists at SRI (Stanford Research Institute) like Swann and Puthoff. However our USG (US Govt) still uses (contracts) SRI way too extensively.

    1. Re. “gravity like phenomena”, a lot of Podkletnov’s work actually makes sense as there have been anecdotal reports of strange effects around Y123 since its discovery in 1987.
      I did suggest a while ago that some of the issues with replication might be that the gravity shielding effects are in fact only present with one isotope of barium.
      If so then it would be a somewhat simple matter to modify centrifuges used for enriching uranium to enrich barium instead, allowing the effect to be enhanced.

      The main annoyance with Y123 is that it requires liquid nitrogen to superconduct.
      I propose that if an ETSC material were discovered, then a composite structure of Y123:E (enriched) and the new material could generate gravity-like effects at close to room temperature.

      1. @BotherSaidGCHQ – Good points GCHQ… I have a ‘brother” of your org here in the states. He’s a really good bloke.

        In case anyone wondering we are talking about Yttrium and Barium. However, some scientist have recently discovered “sapphire” as well. The jaded scientist at NASA in Alabama have a really wild-azz theory about gravity shielding. One of them said he thinks theoretical gravitons may be exhibiting some wave like radiation that has frequency above microwaves and x-rays allowing penetration of “anything”. He feels Dr. P. and Dr. Li found a way to BLOCK those frequencies.

        I posted a Wired magazine article below somewhere. It is really in depth interviews. It also shows that others (Sheffield and a Toronto Univ) have duplicated gravity shielding in the lab with Dr. P’s help. Dr. P and Mondanese’s new gadget knocks over objects one floor under the lab. That’s called “thrust”.

        To make a HOVER BOARD out of these materials would involve a lot of exotic materials. The power required is not all that daunting. You could theoretically mount it on a big surfboard of sorts. A 12-volt vehicle battery could be the power source. You may need a power inverter and step-up transformer. Definitely need motors that can achieve 5000 rpm or better. You’ll need the special ceramics and liquid He or N (very dangerous stuff),

        If you could get all of this to work you would need no special floors made of non-ferrous metals. Any surface would do. Steering could be controlled by vectoring the Dr. P. gravity-beam thrusters. Everything you flew over would be knocked over if not fastened down.

        Actually it’s a big unknown what would happen as it’s all so new understanding of gravity. Mainstream academia does not know how to react except scornful ridicule of Dr. P’s discoveries.

          1. @deadlydad – The pneumatic Tesla turbine is a totally different subject. NASA confirmed Dr. P’s prerequisite to spin Yttrium Barium ceramic in a supercooled liquid at 5,000 rpm. They tried it with a BIG diameter disk but lost confidence in its stability and shut it down before it disintegrated. You’d need a big disk to levitate an average weight human. Frogs and other small creatures have already been levitated with smaller discs by NASA. Dr. P. and Dr. Li have also already done small disk levitation. Dr. also did repulsing gravity. Dr. Li is working on anti-missile technology using this gadget at Redstone Arsenal.

      2. “The main annoyance with Y123 is that it requires liquid nitrogen to superconduct.”

        True, but in exploration of, e.g. Jovian moons, and other outer Solar system celestial bodies we could use it extensively. Antigravity may be problematic here on Earth, but if viable under different conditions, it could be useful where those conditions are met.

        1. @salec – I don’t disagree with you at all… however, what about Jovian moons that is so special? What about Saturn moons like Titan? They recently found that water is being released from Saturn’s rings. Also the “10th planet that never was”, i.e. “Ceres”, has been found to have more water than Earth! Now that’s special. Also Saturn’s strangely shaped north pole very old storm is baffling. Mars still strangely has no noticeable magnetic field like Earth.

          I personally can not see how AG will help in outer space UNLESS we are talking about exploiting legacy gravity or the target body’s gravity. Anyway we will need to find a ceramic that will SC at “room temperature” (or 273.15 K). There’s a lot of promise recently with metallic hydrogen, type iia diamonds, palladium hydride, and graphite powder.

  14. The hover distance needs to go way up for this to be interesting … a half pipe made out of metal won’t allow you to do tricks, so it needs to do it’s magic through a layer of plywood. But then you have the problem that the effect won’t be very stiff so you will keep hitting the plywood with the board … the rotating mass of magnets aren’t very suitable for fast electronic control to keep the distance either.

    1. There is theoretical headroom for this technology to get better. In just the last two decades we’ve seen advances in magnet materials and motor design that have allowed quadcopters and electropermanent magnets to become feasible for hobbyists. How fast you can rotate the magnetic fields is a critical element of how high you hover, and there are configurations of counter rotating magnet arrays that would allow for further gains in height. The architect behind it has also hinted at incorporating conductive materials into building materials to extend the range available to these boards.

      1. Quadcopter rotors speed can be changed easily because they are light … a couple of kg of rotating magnets not so much. Perhaps you could use the rotating magnets to handle the steady state lifting and use electromagnets for distance control.

  15. $900 for the whitebox+ with propulsion, so you can use your smartphone to drive the thing around like a remote control toy. $300 will get you the whitebox with just a hover engine in it, with no propulsion or steering, its meant to be taken apart so you can see how it works. HaD goes straight for the more expensive option that isn’t meant to be tinkered with of course… But who knows, maybe the bigger, more popular tech news blog is in on the scam?

    1. And by “bigger more popular tech blog” I’m not talking about HaD. But now that I think about it, maybe HaD is on it, seeing how they mention the more expensive whitebox and ignore the $300 one, which is the one the KS is advertising for hacking.

  16. “It only works on copper surfaces” – so in other words, it’s NOTHING like the BttF hoverboard, zipping thru town, over roads, over sidewalks, over grass, etc.

    A Hiller VZ-1 is more of a hoverboard then this thing (assuming it actually works at all).

  17. Huh, it looks like they took the existing theory for eddy current maglev trains and just made it into a disk!

    Those patents are really farily through, it should be easy enough to buy sufficient ammounts of square magnets to make this work. Heck, you could just glue them onto plastic plates and it should work.

  18. The fact that they require conductive, non-ferrous floors makes this seem much less outlandish, simply because it makes the tech impractical. We’ve had hovering vehicles before (maglev trains), just not ones that conveniently work on the surfaces we use for roads now. If they wanted to scam people, why make it so useless?

    1. Also, anyone know how big the metallic surface has to be for this to work? I’m thinking metal skateboard with wheels below, and this hovering above. Useless, but endlessly cool.

    1. Depends on the power consumption. The Kickstarter mentions levitating buildings in the case of an earthquake, which honestly seems crazy, since it’s just another kind of damping/base isolation and there are a lot of better ways to do that already.

      Otherwise, where is friction a problem? Heavy freight movement. It’s already been proposed for trains – that’s what Inductrack is.

      But I guess you could imagine something like a crate lifter instead of a pallet jack in a warehouse or something like that. You’d have to watch the logistics closely – it might be that something like this allows more rapid movement of crates/etc. around a warehouse, justifying the power cost. I’d be surprised if that were true, though.

      1. “– it might be that something like this allows more rapid movement of crates/etc. around a warehouse, justifying the power cost. I’d be surprised if that were true, though.”

        I was thinking that….but then maybe having something TOO frictionless is also a bad idea. I am picturing an airhocky-like movement with things with enough mass to kill :P

        1. You could probably mitigate that since the lifting objects would be able to control their own lift. I mean, a simple safety would be a band that someone is wearing: if it’s near the object (and not in the same direction of motion as the object, so no crushing) then the lift is applied, otherwise, it’s not.

  19. @Brian Benchoff – Just curious… is there any reason why my last posting is stuck in moderation or something? Haven’t seen it in 24 hours. WordPress tells me its there too. I was just commenting on the new AG technology being released to the public by 3 reputable scientists – one even from USA.

      1. Thanks Brian… I just noticed the “r” in my handle. That comes from hand typing the handle rather than it autofilling from cookies. Sorry about that. I found a Wired magazine article that has an in depth interview with Dr. Eugene P, and other scientists. It looks like the technology is very close to being a reality. But who will be the first to demo it? Maybe a HOVER BOARD using this new technology would be just the thing to “get it off the ground” (pun intended)…

        Breaking the Law of Gravity
        By Charles Platt
        archive(dot)wired.com/wired/archive/6.03/antigravity_pr.html

        Please read the whole thing folks. It’s very enlightening about new stuff (about gravity) attempting to be suppressed technology by mainstream academia (et al). It’s another one of those “inconvenient truths” Al Gore coined.

        (NOTE: Change (dot) to a period with no spaces. This technique is used to stop autohyerlinking which may be one reason we go to the spam filter from time to time – or not. Youtube used to have this problem too.)

        1. That was a really interesting read! I have got some research to do; nearly 20 years since Dr. P’s discovery of gravitic (is that even a word?) shielding and I have heard nothing, seen nothing, not even a reference. Google here I come

  20. Using superconducting wire would reduce current usage substantially.
    Most of the losses are resistive in the coils so 10% less loss = 10% cooler.
    Also one improvement I came up with is to use switched coils so they never heat one small area too much, and spread out the field over about a square meter of copper surface to both increase lift capacity and increase system efficiency.

    Shame there isn’t a way to make any surface briefly conductive, maybe something that filters out argon from the air, sprays it onto the surface and applies a transverse RF field to form a glow discharge plasma which then acts as a pseudo-conductive surface?
    Great Scott!
    (scuttles off to Patent Office..)

  21. The rotating magnets work great at creating a repulsive force…. This will counteract the rotation of the magnets and not repulse the rotating device. So you’ll spend a lot of energy rotating the magnets for no good reason.

  22. Yeah, graphene somewhat works but the problem there is that the conductivity of non atom thick layers is too poor for a decent field strength.
    It might be possible to make a graphene/SrTiO3 layer though using MOCVD but the problem would be expense.
    SrTio3/graphene/Al might work as the “magic” would happen in the thin layer and IIRC Al2O3 is actually pretty good as a substrate.

    For those folks who have access to graphite oxide can someone please try this with a small setup to see if it works, I think it will.

  23. I understand that people are excited that something in their favourite movie (apparently) is now a real thing.

    But… and I admit I have only a poor understanding of the basics of the physics involved – how is it going to be possible to steer this thing?

    My (wild?) guess is that it’ll steer like a sheet of plastic on a ski slope.

    What am I missing (apart from an appreciation or the attention span to watch/enjoy the referenced kiddy movie BTTF)?

  24. Hi, I built a working model for my science fair project, and tested different thicknesses of copper and aluminium at different motor speeds and rotor heights and measured the force. I would like to post a video of it here, but I don’t know how ?

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