What’s Inside a Hoverboard & How does it Work?
A hoverboard is practically a self-balancing board on wheels, with a motor and some sensors inside, and you can control the movements by balancing with your body, something similar to skating, but not the same. The body posture is straight as standing, but the person should have an advanced balancing ability since it’s not the most stable device. Even though it’s small and it seems like there are two wheels and one board, the way it works is much more complicated than that.
The main parts are the accelerometer, gyroscope, and magnetometer, and they contain three sensors each, which means every basic hoverboard model has a nine-axis sensor inside.
But, let’s explain how they work:
- The accelerometer is measuring the linear dimensions, the distance between the plates, and other physical characteristics of the device itself. It’s important because it helps us understand the important quantities, and controls the capacitor too.
- The gyroscope is probably the most important part of the hoverboard because it’s used to measure the angles and angular shifts of mass. That means, it keeps you balanced even when you move the body, as physics requires. Using a hoverboard doesn’t mean you only stay straight on it. It has a crucial role of following the mass and pressure, and not letting the user lose control.
- The magnetometer is measuring the magnetic fields of the Earth, which is also important for building a stable boarding device, especially the advanced models for professional use.
There are many additional parts, including the logic board, motors, battery, and wheels. If you are interested in having it, you can read more about the topic, and learn the important things you need to know before you invest in this piece of technology.
As we said, there is a battery inside, and you will have to charge it after a few uses. Lithium batteries are great if you don’t use them every day. They are also good to keep the device lightweight because it’s easier to be controlled and stored. Most of these parts are located under the plate you use to stand on, and the sensors are connected to it, so they can recognize the pressure you ate causing. Once it’s done, the device will start working, and all the sensors and parts are active. These sensors follow your movements and actions, and the board is getting the needed information on where to turn, and which direction to take. And you control all of that with your body.
As you lean the body to control the movements, the gyroscope is getting the information, and lets you do that. The IR sensors are measuring and collecting important data, so they can speed up the movement, or slow it down. The tilt sensors are connected to the logic part, and they are responsible for sharing the data with the gyroscope.
As you can see, we mentioned the gyroscope a few times, so probably now you realize how important that part is.
What are the basic specifications of the hoverboard for an average person who needs it for basic use?
If you want to invest in one, the usual requirements are fast charging, carrying up to 90-100 kg of weight, with an average speed of 10 km/h, which costs around $300. Always look for nice quality ones, especially if you plan to use them on the streets.
Also, you have to check the battery quality, the insulation around the electrical and logic parts, the certificate for safety, the way it works in general, some specific things like lagging and sensitivity of the sensors, and of course, the size of the wheels. Big wheels need more power, but smaller ones can consume a lot of energy, without developing the needed speed.
You need to be careful when using it
It’s not the safest transport option you can think about, so you probably need to be very careful when buying it. If you have some balance issues, this is not the best transport solution for you. The injuries can be very serious, and the cheap models with improper insulation between the parts can cause burns, due to explosion. In the past, it was more popular, due to the hype, but now it’s rarely used among children and teenagers. Most people who want to be cool while they shop are using hoverboards.
Using it requires a combination of different skills, and that’s why it’s not suitable for everyone. Some people can use it immediately as they touch it for the first time, and others can practice longer, and still won’t be able to adapt to it.
So, if you aren’t sure you can handle this type of driving, then you either need to try it at least once or just forget about it and use something you find safer to use.
The hoverboards are really unpopular among the people. Most of them think it’s impossible to maintain balance by using only the standing posture of the body, and tiny movements. Knowing that the feet and legs are fixed to the board, you can’t really manipulate them properly. The controversy was even bigger when they were used as kids’ toys because the parents are putting them at risk. It’s not a toy, and that’s for sure. The safety issues won’t disappear, since we all know how one hoverboard looks and works. It’s not just the device – the people also have to know how to control it, so they won’t end up getting injured.
Hoverboards are more complicated than they seem from the outside. What we see is a board and two wheels with some fancy design and lights. But, what’s inside is a whole different world. There are plenty of tiny parts, wires, pipes, condensers, and other electronic parts, including the battery, that provide enough energy for the board to move.
It’s pretty difficult to understand how those parts work if you don’t have a degree in mechanical engineering, but knowing the basic things will surely help you decide if this device is good for you or not.