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Lexus Unveils Its Working Hoverboard 68

An anonymous reader writes: Lexus has revealed its eagerly anticipated "SLIDE" hoverboard, which uses magnetic fields to carry its rider without touching the ground. The board is confined to custom-built skatepark, remaining suspended due to the board's repulsion from a specially made magnetic track. Mark Templin, Executive Vice President at Lexus International said: "Embarking on this project, we set out to push the boundaries of technology, design and innovation to make the impossible possible. With this project we call 'SLIDE', we collaborated with partners who share our passion for creating enjoyment out of motion. Even through combining our technology and expertise, we discovered making a hoverboard isn't an easy process. We've experienced the highs and lows and have overcome a few challenges, but through mutual determination we have created a demonstration of our philosophy in design and technology to create Amazing in Motion."
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Lexus Unveils Its Working Hoverboard

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  • by alvinrod ( 889928 ) on Wednesday August 05, 2015 @02:31PM (#50258229)
    Looks like Back to the Future Part II was correct in that we'd have hoverboards in 2015, but they're certainly not as advanced as in the film. However, the Lexus appears to work over water though, so I suppose they have that going for them.
    • by pushing-robot ( 1037830 ) on Wednesday August 05, 2015 @02:40PM (#50258329)

      The Lexus board has the same limitation: You can hover over water, but without a solid surface to kick off you can't propel yourself.

      Unless, of course, you've got power... [youtube.com]

    • The problem with polarized magnets is that as much as one side wants to repel, the other side wants to attract. So try and do a kick flip and your board is just going to stick to the surface upside down. The board is going to want to flip over and stick to the surface upside down all the time and you'll have to balance to offset those forces constantly. This sort of stake park sounded like a great idea when I thought of it when I was 8 years old. Now, not so much.

      • by mark-t ( 151149 )

        The board doesn't "want" to flip over at all... if it did, it would spontaneously flip over when nobody was on it.

        That said, there's nothing remotely unusual about the forces they are employing here... but it's a but more complicated than just two-like poles on magnets repelling eachother.

        • Not really much more complicated the track is just 2 or more magnetic stripes made with shitloads of neodymium magnets.

          • by mark-t ( 151149 )
            Perhaps... but even if it did flip over, it would not be drawn to the track at all. As I said, this levitation is not being accomplished by simple fixed magnets.
      • Re:Just in time (Score:5, Informative)

        by pushing-robot ( 1037830 ) on Wednesday August 05, 2015 @03:05PM (#50258521)

        The article is bunk; the Lexus hoverboard works not via opposing magnets but the Meissner effect (a superconductor excluding magnetic fields). Orientation isn't important; you could flip it upside down, turn the board on its side, flip the *track* upside down (if the field is strong enough), and it will hang in place [youtube.com] in exactly the way your brain says it shouldn't.

        However, the main flaw with this and the Hendo hoverboard is control; you're essentially riding an air-hockey puck. You can't effectively steer by leaning, and good luck kicking off without sending yourself spinning.

        • Yep. Even those pro skateboards didn't seem to be able to stay on it for more than a few seconds.

          • You'd almost think it would be worse for professionals because they have spend years training and their brain and body have an expectation of board reaction that doesn't exist in this case. You'd probably have an easier time with an amateur because they don't have to unlearn years training and ingrained behavior that either doesn't work or works against a person in this case.
          • That's because it doesn't have tilt resistance. On a skateboard with wheels, when you lean, the wheels on that side are compressed, and push back on your feet. The hoverboard doesn't have a restoring force when you tilt it, so you fall over. What they need are two parallel coils, spaced about a foot or more apart, so they have some tilt resistance. What they have now is like a skateboard where all 4 wheels are in a single line.

        • " flip the *track* upside down (if the field is strong enough)"

          If it's a linear track, it's almost certain to be a Halbach array.

      • Re:Just in time (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Joce640k ( 829181 ) on Wednesday August 05, 2015 @03:11PM (#50258573) Homepage

        The board is going to want to flip over and stick to the surface upside down all the time and you'll have to balance to offset those forces constantly.

        It's almost as if you didn't actually watch the video before posting that.

        • My refusal to view untrusted video for security reasons has once again resulted in misguided commentary.

          • by mark-t ( 151149 )
            And your refusal to understand science comes from what, exactly?

            Really, it is obvious from the photos that it is using the Meissner Effect to produce repulsion, not static magnetic orientation.

    • Re:Just in time (Score:4, Insightful)

      by jklovanc ( 1603149 ) on Wednesday August 05, 2015 @02:45PM (#50258381)

      To be accurate it works over a very thin layer of water with a magnetic track underneath.

  • creating enjoyment out of motion.

    Unfortunately the top-selling Lexus is the ES series, which is anything but an enjoyment to be in. It is not by a long shot the worst car ever, but it is also far away from being the most enjoyable.

    Another Lexus was also chosen by the Top Gear guys as The Worst Car in the History of the World [bbcamerica.com], as well.

    • Seriously, what the fuck is the use of this marketing bullshit in the summary?:
      "Mark Templin, Executive Vice President at Lexus International said: "Embarking on this project, we set out to push the boundaries of technology, design and innovation to make the impossible possible. With this project we call 'SLIDE', we collaborated with partners who share our passion for creating enjoyment out of motion. Even through combining our technology and expertise, we discovered making a hoverboard isn't an easy proces

  • by Anonymous Coward

    What they don't show is how it really works. There's a reason they built a custom skateboard park for it.

    http://hackaday.com/2015/08/05/secrets-of-the-lexus-hoverboard-revealed/

    • What they don't show is how it really works. There's a reason they built a custom skateboard park for it.

      Um, yes they did - in the "making of" video that's linked from that one.

  • by OakDragon ( 885217 ) on Wednesday August 05, 2015 @02:52PM (#50258437) Journal
    ...laying that track down.
  • I know it's the year of Back to the future.. but we saw this article already... or was that another timeline?

  • Would that mean that skating time in this park would cost comparably to time in an MRI machine? Not even Lexus drivers will be able to afford this.

    • A perfect new use case for the Large Hadron Collider at CERN: racing around the ring on Hover boards!

    • Nah it's just liquid nitrogen. Liquid nitrogen costs the same as milk. MRIs use liquid helium; whole other thing.

      • The superconductors themselves are expensive. There are many high-temperature (relatively speaking) superconductors, but they are all exotic alloys of very precise crystal structure. Expensive to manufacture, and you'd have to coat a whole skate park in them. Plus the enclosed cooling system, and a durable insulator on top - you don't want people falling off into the inch-deep lake of liquid nitrogen, it isn't healthy.

        • That's not how any of this works; the board contains liquid nitrogen; the track is made of supermagnets.

          • It would work equally well either way - and supermagnets too are very expensive.

            • It really wouldn't. If the track was superconducting it would require cooling the whole length with liquid nitrogen, and having just checked, it looks like superconducting materials are about ten times more expensive than neodymium magnets, so you wouldn't want to make the track out of superconducting materials.

  • It'll go great with my BTTF2 shoes and holographic hat.

  • I can not help but wonder if everyone that rides one acts like assholes rides slow while testing and thinks they own the whole skate park?

  • Do you wannt to skate at my place, bouncy bouncy!

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