Have you ever wondered how hoverboards actually work? They may look like simple electric personal transportation devices, but they use state of the art technology and some pretty sophisticated electronics.
They’re called hoverboards, because it looks as if the rider is floating above the surface, but in actual fact, they are getting around on two wheels that are attached to either side of a board or deck.
They are made of the following components:
- Lithium-ion battery
- Logic board
- A deck
- Two wheels
- A gyroscope on each wheel
- Two motors
The hoverboard is powered by a lithium-ion battery, which is between 36V and 42V. Lithium-ion batteries are used because they pack a lot of power for such a lightweight battery.
The gyroscopes receive speed and tilt information from each wheel, which they then send to the logic board, which is a bit like the brain of the hoverboard. It’s this passing of information that enables the rider to self-balance – the gyroscopes work out which side the rider is shifting their weight onto and then tell the motors how fast to run and the wheels, which direction to spin.
If you ever have problems with your gyroscopes, you’ll soon know about it – the hoverboard might shake, vibrate or just not work as well as it should. If they are playing up, then you need to calibrate the hoverboard, which will reset the gyroscopes.
To do this, you will need to turn the hoverboard off while it is on a flat surface. Press the power button down for 10 seconds, let it go and then hey presto, you are reset and ready to go. The lights may flash when you are doing that, but this is perfectly normal and nothing to worry about.
There are hoverboards available, which you can recalibrate with an app. To do this, you need install the hoverboard app onto your smart phone and make sure it is connected to the app. Locate the ‘calibrate the hoverboard’ section and you will find some easy to follow instructions.
Some hoverboards have a choice of riding modes, which are useful if you want to reduce the speed of them for kids or novice riders. These are controlled by the logic board – along with the lights, battery power usage and speed. The on/off button also communicates with the logic board.
The two motors are located in each wheel – this allows them to accelerate and move independently which allows you to turn the hoverboard and change direction.
The wheels have sensors that analyse the speed and tilt of the board – this information is then relayed to the gyroscopes. These are no ordinary wheels!
There are two footpads on the board, and these tell the hoverboard wheels to move in a certain direction – if you put your weight on the right footpad, the board will accelerate and move to the left and vice versa.
Not all hoverboards are the same, but these are the components of the most popular models on sale today.