Hoverboards, also termed self-balancing scooters are one-of-a-kind two-wheelers that combine functionality with adventure. They are portable machines that run on two wheels and largely entered the market in the year 2015. Since then, the device has been getting increasing in popularity, especially among kids.
More of a recreational vehicle that looks quite similar to a skateboard in terms of its shape and size, a hoverboard doesn’t actually float. Instead, it has got two wheels separated by a footboard and is powered by electricity and a battery. The best part about the device is that it lets you travel without pedaling or pushing the hoverboard off with your feet.
When Did Hoverboards Come Out?
The first Hoverboard was founded by the American businessman Shane Chan in May 2013. He launched a fundraising campaign. In 2014, the Chinese company Chi Robotics released its first Hoverboard in Canton Fair Trade Show, which gained huge popularity in the west quite soon.
Prior to that, hoverboards were popularized by the highly loved film franchise, Back to The Future. The movie depicts a scene with a flying hoverboard that simply lets the rider levitate in mid-air, stealing the attention of the kids and grown-ups alike. Since then, research and development have been going on to develop a hoverboard that actually makes flying happen for real.
How Do Hoverboards Work?
A hoverboard comprises a number of components, each of which serves a specific purpose in its functioning.
The main components of a hoverboard are:
Main logic board
Let’s take a closer look at the process that makes the hoverboard work!
The Wheel Sensor
The wheels have electric motors themselves, as well as a sensor to control the tilt and speed. The sensor detects the rpm (revolutions per minute) of the wheels, further sending it to the segway.
Kids Segways UK
A segway is a device that measures or maintains orientation and angular velocity. The segway and speed control boards send the information from the sensors to the logic board.
The Main Logic Board
The logic board is where the hoverboard’s processor calculates the status of the board, the ride speed, the tilt of the wheels, and the relative speed in real-time. It also determines if you are in the beginner mode as well as handles the hover board’s power management.
While different boards come with different battery packs, most of them feature 36V 4400mAH batteries. This is the part that allows the board to function.
Hoverboards feature pressure pads sitting on two separate switches.
The front switch is pressed down when the rider leans forward, further sliding a small plastic wall between an infrared sensor and LED. The logic board ensures that the motor is still as long as the sensor detects the light. However, the motor starts spinning in a specific direction when the infrared LED is interrupted.
The Balancing Process
The tilt sensors help the segways determine how much the rider is leaning forward, which is further sent to the logic board. The logic board tells the motors to spin more when you lean more forward. The whole idea is to allow the rider to control the hoverboard’s speed with their weight.
Are Hoverboards Safe?
There’s no doubt that hoverboards are super fun, but there are also some risks involved.
Fractures and Bruising Because of Falling
It is quite common for children to fall off their hoverboards and end up with injuries to the wrists, head, and forearms. This includes serious bruising, fractures, as well as strains. Some say that falling and getting up is just a part of being a child. That’s how they learn and get experience.
However, there are some easy tips to make riding with a self-balancing scooter safer:
Wear the appropriate gear. This includes a helmet, knee pads, wrist guards, and elbow pads. It’s good to wear padded shorts made for hoverboarders to ensure extra safety.
Get away from traffic. Make sure you don’t let your kids ride in or near traffic.
Right falling technique. Enroll your kids in hoverboard lessons if possible. The right falling technique and other tips will prevent injuries and accidents.
Follow the manufacturer’s restrictions and limits. Official hoverboards for kids usually have age and weight limits.
Speaking of some first models, the batteries can malfunction and lead to fires. Most boards feature lithium-ion batteries as they are compact yet store great power. However, those batteries are at risk of explosions and overheating, which can further lead to mishappenings.
Although, there are some tips you can follow to reduce the risk of your hoverboard catching a fire.
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