There’re rumors swirling aboutÂ Â Lexus’ hoverboard with people calling its just aÂ marketing trick, but now we know that it’s real and it works.
The company hasÂ showed off the real-lifeÂ hoverboard at a specially constructed âhoverparkâ near Barcelona, Spain, asking professional skateboarder, Ross McGouran, Â to test the device at a specially constructed âhoverparkâ.
âIâve spent 20 years skateboarding, but without friction it feels like Iâve had to learn a whole new skill, particularly in the stance and balance you need to ride the hoverboard,â he said.
The Lexus Hoverboard hasÂ two cryostats – reservoirs which contain superconducting material – kept at -197Â°C through immersion in liquid nitrogen. When the board gets close enough to the magnets in the ground, it hovers.
âThe magnetic field from the track is effectively âfrozenâ into the superconductors in the board, maintaining the distance between the board and track â essentially keeping the board in a hover,” explainedÂ Dr Oliver de Haas, chief executive of evico, a German company specialising in magnetic levitation technology that worked on the project.Â “The force is strong enough that the rider can stand and even jump on the board.â
This meant the sportsman couldÂ try to demonstrateÂ all the tricks he usually would on a skateboard, but with one exciting difference – he could now travel across water, too.
âA skateboard has got resistance. Even with a surfboard, you’ve got the resistance of water,â confirmedÂ David Nordstrom, a general manager for global branding at Lexus International in Tokyo. âThis is essentially floating on air. If you’ve ever tried to stand on a board, or something on water without any momentum, that’s what this kind of feels like.â
The company hasÂ also released a video whereÂ the physics behind the hoverboard is explained. The video is definitelyÂ worth a watch â although seeing the reality beneath the glossy video reinforces how far we have to go before full-blown hoverboards become a reality.
Lexus’ hoverboard measures 920mm long, 22mm wide and 90mm tall, and can carry weights of up to 200kg or 440 pounds.
“It levitates over the magnetic surface thanks to superconductors fitted inside the body which are cooled down to 197Â°C through immersion in liquid nitrogen â that’s the ‘smoke’ you see coming out of the board,” Carscoops writes.
Mark Templin, executive vice-president of Lexus International, commented on the issue: âAs we combined our technology and expertise, we discovered that making a hoverboard isnât an easy process.”
“Weâve experienced highs and lows and have overcome a few challenges, but through mutual determination we have created a demonstration of our philosophy in design and technology to create Amazing in Motion,â he added.
There are currently no plans for commercial release of the hoverboard, but Lexus says the project was an important one.
“Embarking on this project we set out to push the boundaries of technology, design and innovation to make the impossible possible,” says Lexus vice president of international operations Mark Templin.
“With this project we call ‘SLIDE’, we collaborated with partners who share our passion for creating enjoyment out of motion. Even through combining our technology and expertise, we discovered making a hoverboard isn’t an easy process.”