Okay, you have probably seen the same headlines since the teaser of the Lexus Hoverboard concept a few weeks back.
Well, this is the full reveal with award-winning film and much more technical explanation.
And let me tell you, this is quite a project.
Lexus developed this magnetic levitating skateboard to not be an April fools jest, or even a Popular Science look into the future. This is the future, and it is hovering around a custom skate park in Barcelona as we speak.
So what were the goals?
— Real rideability and fun — but sans friction and rolling wheels below.
— Flexible future use applications: everything from factory floors to floating cars can, in theory, run on this technology. For now, any size human’s weight is the design brief — keeping the board small and lighter than a longboard (or industrial) version might be.
— A technical and branding showcase for the Lexus Amazing in Motion ethos.
Just a few more questions?
If you think like me, you might ask HOW?? and WHEN will it go to market?
The HOW might require some kind of physics or at least engineering degree to fathom. The short version is:
— the board levitates and keeps its preset distance to any surface thanks to two ‘cryostats.’ These are liquid-nitrogen-encased magnets that form a resistive current — pushing the ground away from the bottom of the board. Keeping the cryostats bonded and powering the magnetic levitation requires a constant -197-degrees. This explains the misty steam that vents out in artful billows as you glide around.
— for the Barcelona skatepark demo, there is a secret under the ramps and half-pipes. 200-plus meters of magnetic material lives below the ‘hoverpark’ surface.
Unclear what the surface treatment of the park is, but likely similar to mag-lev bullet train ‘tracks.’
The base magnetic elements are built below a wood structure for the skate park features. The Hoverboard is not limited to specific routes, but this foundation part of the technology appears to be at least half the technical challenge.
Did you watch the vid? Pretty fantastic innovation showcase! Lexus shares the credit with a few R&D gurus in the mag-lev field: evico GmbH and IFW Dresden. Combine industrial innovation, academic experimentation and the Lexus budget… and poof!
This stunning Lexus GLIDE Hoverboard prototype.
We hope the tech is commercialized ASAP — even if it can’t get Doc up to 88-mph….
Either way, the video above is from an award-winning director — and is def worth the two minutes.
2015 Lexus Hoverboard – Liq Nitro Cryostat MagLev Prototype