For those who grew up in the 80s, a childhood dream could be close at hand.
Californian architect Greg Henderson has developed a hoverboard that floats in mid-air similar to Marty McFly’s famous gadget in the film Back to the Future II.
The idea came to Henderson as he was researching building structures that can withstand earthquakes. One of the methods he found was using electromagnetic fields to separate the building from the ground in a disaster. This led him to the idea of the Hendo Hoverboard which uses four “hover engines” which emit magnetic fields that push against each other.
The catch? There are a few. One, a metal conductor, such as copper or aluminum, has to be used in the surface underneath. Two, the Hendo Hoverboard can only carry 40 lbs (18 kg) and the battery only lasts for seven minutes. So, not exactly like McFly’s. But perhaps it’s a good starting point.
Henderson’s 19-person company, Arx Pax, is hoping to raise $250,000 through Kickstarter for the campaign. As of today, they have raised over $227,000 with 53 days left on Kickstarter.
“We want to see what YOU can do with our technology, Arx Pax writes on the promotion page. “You can use it for hovering, or for applications we haven’t even imagined.”
“The Hendo Hoverboard is just the first step,” Henderson says on the video. “It’s a proof of concept: the simplest path for demonstrating our technology in a way everyone can understand.”
“It’s a dream realized,” Henderson’s wife, Jill, says. “When you support our Kickstarter campaign, one of the options [pledging $229 or more] is the Hendo Developer Kit, the white box.”
Inside the white box is a hover engine that Henderson says you can use to hover whatever you like. “You no longer need to be a scientist in a lab to be a part of building the future.”
To be one of the first ten to own a personal hoverboard, a donor needs to pledge $10,000 or more. The donor also gets a T-shirt.
Just to be clear, that one dude didn't invent a hoverboard. What he invented is magnets.
— Gonzalo Cordova (@GonzaloRCordova) October 22, 2014