USC
About this Article
Written by: Peter Gilmour
Written on: May 20th, 2016
Tags: mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, lifestyle
Thumbnail by: thekneeslider/thekneeslider
About the Author
Hoverboards have been a dream put into people’s imagination by movies and other science fiction works, but now they have become a reality.
Stay Connected

Volume XVII Issue II > Hoverboards: Gliding to the Future
Hoverboards have been a dream put into people’s imagination by movies and other science fiction works, but now they have become a reality. By using the concepts of magnetism, hoverboards have been developed that levitate a few inches off the ground while allowing the rider to maneuver across metal surfaces. This technology would not just be limited to hoverboards, but could be used to keep buildings safe from earthquakes and provide cheaper alternatives for Maglev Trains.

Introduction

From a young age, many have dreamed of futuristic inventions that would revolutionize the world: flying cars, commercialized spaceships, and even hoverboards. These previously out-of-reach technologies have started to come within our grasp in recent years with SpaceX developing commercial space flights, Maglev Trains that go hundreds of miles per hour, and, finally, the hoverboard. The mainstream idea of a hoverboard was brought to us by Marty McFly in the movie Back to the Future II, and it has now become a reality. By using massive electromagnets, the board is able to maintain a steady levitation above conductive materials and can support the weight of a fully-grown person and move freely across certain surfaces. The new technology that this hoverboard tests can be used not only for cooler ways to get around town, but also safety improvements to buildings and cheaper production of Maglev Trains.