Probably impossible.. But certainly worth a try!
Let's face it, the world needs a Hoverboard! So that's exactly what we're going to try and build. We want to create an open source Hoverboard platform that can be customized for fun or tailored to meet the needs of any industry.
The technology needed to make a real working Hoverboard already exists, it's just very expensive and not easily obtainable right now. Well, that's one of the key things that we want to solve with this project. We want to spend the time and effort to figure out exactly what is needed and focus on bringing that technology down to a price that is affordable and obtainable. By making this an open source project, we can share all the information collected along the way and have users from all over the world contributing to help out.
1 Million Dollars...
That's right. We're asking for 1 million dollars! By funding this project, you're helping us put the first conscious effort into making an open source Hoverboard platform.. What did you think that was going to cost? This is not going to be an easy task, but that's what makes it worth it! Everything that is learned from this initiative will be cataloged and placed on our website for others to use and benefit the project. So to be more accurate, this project is really to fund the beginning of a world with Hoverboards.
The funds will be used in various ways. At first, we'll need to setup an online development center using "Hoverboards.org" where we can store all the information collected from the various teams working on the project around the world. Then, we will need to come up with a few designs that are cost-feasible and start the prototyping process. Anyone in product design and/or development knows that prototyping can get expensive, so we want to be prepared for the challenges ahead. Once we have a working prototype, we'll need to create an iPhone and Android app that will be used to control the Hoverboard. You can see our prototype app below.
We aren't the first to try something like this...
A few companies have been developing similar technology using the motorcycle platform - just google "hover bike" and you'll find articles about it. So we're not as crazy as you might think! Check out some of these awesome images of the hover bike in action...
The Hoverboard will be powered by omni-direction tubeaxial blowers, which is similar to the technology being used in the hover-bike above and throughout the aerospace industry. As a matter of fact, the company that we purchase them from is a defense contractor who manufactures parts for stealth submarines, torpedos and other military applications. The Hoverboard will be powered by an on-board rechargeable battery and it will be controlled from your iPhone or Android device.
We want the Hoverboard to be as lightweight as possible so we'll be using a special carbon fiber honeycomb technique to produce the boards. This will provide maximum strength without sacrificing weight - the end result will be stronger than steel and only a fraction of the weight! This allows the rider to travel further on a single charge and also makes it easier to compensate for the power to weight ratio needed to hover.
We've been researching new battery technologies and we're very optimistic. The challenge is we need a power source that has enough power to lift the average rider, but also be light enough to actually hover. There are a few new battery types that might work, but two look very promising...
- The first is a lithium-air battery that can actually breathe air and create energy by allowing oxygen to react with a lithium element to create lithium peroxide and produces electrical energy. This technology is being developed by IBM and dubbed the "Battery 500 Project" to see if IBM can power cars for more than 500 miles on a single charge. MIT is also working on a similar battery that can "breathe" and extract energy from air molecules.. So this could be the technology we've been waiting for!
- The second power source comes from a very interesting place - paper. A scientist from Stanford has created a method to dip an ordinary piece of paper into ink infused with carbon nanotubes and silver nanowires, and it turns into a battery or supercapacitor. Simply coating a sheet of paper with this ink makes it a high-performance energy storage device that is capable of powering our blowers and yet incredibly light-weight.
We're very excited to start testing this technology! Both of these options sound like they might do the trick, but we're finding more and more information about new light-weight battery technologies everyday.
Hoverboard Controller App
This is where things get fun! The Hoverboard App will be your main controller for your Hoverboard. You'll use it to unlock the board and power it up, to install updates, run diagnostics, and so much more...
You will also be able to access your Hoverboard from the rider dashboard on our website. If you ever lose your smartphone, or worst case the board gets stolen, you can track it down by easily logging into the dashboard to remotely control your board or deactivate it. We're going to design the app software and the web dashboard to work seamlessly with your Hoverboard so you can spend more time doing cool tricks and having fun!
Here are a few more images of the app...
As an open source project, we're planning to release a Software Development Kit (SDK) so developers can create games, enhancements and themes for the Hoverboard Controller. We want the community have a lot of fun with this, so what better way than to get the community involved. We'll bring the technology to life, but the community will be the ones who take it over the top. We can't wait to see what you come up with!
We want to try to launch the world's first Hoverboard by Summer 2015. The reason we're doing this is to coincide with the Back to the Future 2 movie, we're big fans if couldn't tell already. The challenge is big, so we've outlined a high-level view of what the different phases will be...
- Launch Development Center Website - Q3 2013
- Create Designs and Computer Simulations - Q3 2013
- Hands on 3D Printed Prototypes - Q4 2013
- Hoverboard Design Modifications- Q4 2013
- Begin App Development - Q4 2013
- Finalize Hoverboard Firmware - Q1 2014
- Finalize and Beta Test App - Q2 2014
- Finalize Overall Hoverboard Design - Q3 2014
- Commercialize and Miniaturize Components - Q4 2014
- Begin Manufacturing of Hoverboards - Q4 2014
- Hoverboard Assembly - Q1 2015
- Rider Beta Testing - Q2 2015
- Prepare for Launch - Q3 2015
- Launch Hoverboard - Q4 2015
Are you serious?!? This can't be real.
It is. We know this sounds crazy, but at one point in history it was also crazy to have a light bulb in your house or have a carriage that drove without a horse! We think it's about time to start thinking about an alternative form of transportation and we're not talking about something with wheels. We've done our research and found some very interesting propulsion technologies that are being used in newer military jets and stealth submarines. So yea, we are serious about this and we do believe we can build a Hoverboard with the power of an open source community behind us.
There are a few things that make us think we're a good fit for the job though. For instance, we have a team of designers, programmers, and engineers that are amazing problem solvers who tackle big ideas like this for a living. We also have some really awesome machinery to play with...
So as you can see, our facility is capable of making a lot, and we're willing to put all of our resources to work on this project! On top of that, we also own an injection molding facility where we have 15 injection molding machines ready to make all the plastic parts for the Hoverboard. We also have manufacturing partners with additional machinery (like laser cutters and a 6-axis machine), plus a lot of other vendors who supply specialty metals and materials that are used in the aerospace / defense industry. So we have access to the machinery needed, plus all the lightweight materials and polymers that we think are perfect for this type of application. The only problem is these materials are also very expensive, so that's what brings us back to you.. Your help will launch this initiative and bring a real working Hoverboard to life!
Are you an engineer, designer or developer looking to do something big? Join us in this intitiative and help bring a real working Hoverboard to life!
Feel free to contact us with any questions: firstname.lastname@example.org
Risks and challenges
This project is not going to be easy. We have to defy gravity (literally) and power a board that can carry a person, so we have our work cut out for us. But that's what also makes it so exciting! If we can't build a real working prototype by 2015, that's ok because we still made the first step to developing this technology. We don't know how long it will really take to create a Hoverboard, but we want to get the process started and help see it through. That's what we're here for and we're very excited to see what the future holds.
Any copyrighted or trademarked materials used in this project belong to the rights holder. All Back to the Future Hoverboard images or Hoverboard likeness is property of Universal Pictures and not affiliated with Haltek Industries.