Hoverboards, sometimes known as self-balancing scooters, are two-wheeled, rechargeable, transportation gadgets. The name hoverboard originally refers to a device that floats in the air, first popularised by 1980s Hollywood cinema. In this article, we will explore ‘what is a hoverboard?’.
Hoverboards, as they have become colloquially known, are the newest rage in self-propelled transportation. However, they are not quite the same as the devices seen in Back to the Future.
These gadgets normally operate like motorized skateboards, with a surface for the rider located between two small tires and propelled by massive rechargeable battery packs.
How Do Hoverboards Work?
Now we have explained ‘what is a hoverboard’, it’s time to understand how they work. As well as being powered by a large battery, hoverboards can sense a rider’s movements and responds accordingly. For example, when a rider leans forward, the gadget will take them in that direction.
The same applies to all other directions. Thanks to gravity, the rider’s weight is what keeps them on the board. However, some balance skill is involved and it can take some practice to master them.
The primary role of a self-balancing hoverboard is to stay upright. Microprocessors in the device track the position a rider are tilting at to do this. The gyroscope, which is directly linked to the microprocessors, collects information regarding the board’s inclination.
Within the board, motors vary power output to ensure the rider stays balanced. Every self-balancing hoverboard is unique, which means that each one has a special battery, a combination of microprocessors, and motors.
Hoverboards, like all technology, are made up of many different components that allow them to operate. Here are the different parts of a hoverboard and how they work:
- Gyroscope – This alters the tilt of the platform to improve balance.
- Microprocessor – Control the amount of power that moves the tires.
- Battery – Usually made from lithium-ion, these are rechargeable and keep the whole gadget moving.
- Motor – Sends power to the tires and keeps them moving.
- Sensor – Usually infrared, these measure objects and distance as well as rider tilt.
- Logic Board – This receives data from the sensors and informs the motor, helping the rider move forward and change direction.
- Pressure Pad – Platform where the rider places their feet and alerts the gadget that someone is on board.
- Tires – These can come in various sizes depending on the brand.
- Switch – Powers the board up and turns it off when not in use.
- Charging Port – This is where you attach your power cable for recharging the device.
How Fast Can Hoverboards Move?
After understanding ‘what is a hoverboard?’ and ‘how do they work?’, we will explain how fast they can move. Hoverboards, notwithstanding their tiny stature, can travel quite quickly. Many boards have a top speed of 6 to 10 miles per hour. Certain high-performance devices can reach speeds of up to 12 miles per hour.
Having said that, most boards now have a speed limiter due to safety concerns. The speed limiter is a small mechanism located inside the gadget that analyzes wheel rotation and adjusts the speed. Hoverboards with speed limiters typically have a top speed of 7.5 mph.
Are Hoverboards Legal?
Even though the precise origins of these gadgets are unknown, hoverboards gained popularity in the United States from 2015. The sight of celebrities riding hoverboards pushed these vehicles into prominence, while also generating legal concerns. It all depends on where you intend to use it.
Today, the only cities in the United States that have limits on hoverboards are New York City and California. New York City has outright prohibited their use entirely.
Supporters, on the other hand, are seeking to have the limits lifted. Hoverboards are illegal in California for anyone under the age of 16.
The devices are also subject to speed limitations and are only permitted in bike lanes, according to the state. Helmets are also required for riders.
While most places in the United States now have next to no safety standards for hoverboards, it is always reasonable to take care when operating a motorized gadget.
Riders are recommended to wear helmets, shin pads, elbow pads, and arm guards to protect themselves from injury. Hoverboards are illegal in numerous places throughout the world.
Although the regulations vary by location, there are laws governing these self-propelled scooters in some areas. Some countries with such restrictions include; Germany, England, Wales, Scotland, The Netherlands, Canada, and China.
Are Hoverboards Safe?
Generally, the best contemporary hoverboards are suitable for both children and adults. There have been safety concerns in the past, and using one of these boards is obviously risky.
The most important thing is that you learn how to use your hoverboard correctly. Using a hoverboard has some risks, which we have outlined below.
When these devices first became widespread, numerous companies hurried to release goods that did not fulfill the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s safety requirements.
There have been several cases of hoverboards bursting into flames. This was because of the use of low-quality lithium-ion batteries.
Instances of these fires have significantly decreased after 2016, owing to current boards’ use of well-built lithium-ion batteries. Businesses have started to conduct research to ensure that these devices do not catch fire.
Errors, like any method of transportation, can pose a risk to passengers, so it’s critical to understand how hoverboards operate.
These incidents can occur at any moment, so we recommend riding with great caution, especially if you are a child. We would also recommend following proper safety procedures, such as wearing a helmet, elbow pads, and sleeves.
Some models of hoverboards are marketed as being ideal for off-roading activities. This could be true, but rugged terrain has its own set of dangers.
Take your time traversing off-road trails and avoid rocky places, which can lead to accidents and injury to the individual components of the scooter or equivalent gadget. Getting outside is one of the many advantages of hoverboards, but it’s crucial to use caution.
Hoverboards and hoverboard companies that are safe often come with safety certification, this informs riders that the danger of injury from hoverboards is low.
This accreditation is often in the format of a UL 2272 safety certification, which verifies that products satisfy particular safety criteria and are free of a variety of common risks, such as low-grade materials.
This accreditation establishes decent safety requirements for hoverboard makers and should put users at ease when buying a product because it ensures a high level of safety.
So, there you have it! A guide to ‘What is a Hoverboard?’