The Hoverboard surfs the streets on a single wheel

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A role traditionally associated with the four-wheeled artiste

Apparently inspired by the idea of the hover board and sharing a passing resemblance to the S-Walker, Future Motion founder Kyle Doerksen describes Onewheel as a self-balancing electric skateboard. “Plummeting cost of accelerometer and gyro sensors from smartphones, plus amazing motor and battery technology designed for larger EVs begged to be combined in a new way,” Doerksen tells Gizmag. But the tech is controlled by an algorithm which Future Motion says it has been developing for years.

Doerksen points out that the unusual design lends itself to unique tricks (see the video below, I won’t embarrass myself by attempting to use the lingo.)

Future Motion has a Kickstarter campaign to secure funding to build at least 100 units. Pledges get interesting at the US$1,299 mark, for which Future Motion is offering the first 20 Onewheels (with five left at the time of writing), rising to $1,299 after that.

For that money I’d want to try before buying, and, encouragingly, Future Motion is putting its Onewheels out there at CES for attendees to try out. Gizmag is on the scene, so if we are able to find out more about it (and, hopefully, give one a try), we’ll be sure to let you know.

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Finally, here’s the specs list. Approximate unit conversations are as those provided by Future Motion:

  • Battery: 48 V lithium nano-phosphate (LiFePO4)
  • Controller: Custom 6 DOF MEMS IMU and BLDC driver. Self-balancing
  • Motor: 500 W continuous hub motor, direct drive
  • Speed: 12 mph (20 km/h)
  • Dimensions: 30 x 9 x 11.5 in (760 x 230 x 290 mm)
  • Range: 4 to 6 miles (6 to 9 km, depending on terrain and riding style)
  • Recharge time: 20 minutes with fast charger, 120 minutes with standard charger
  • Weight: 25 lb (11 kg)

Finally finally, there’s the obligatory pretty video below.

single wheel hover board

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We may still be waiting for the first true hoverboard, but one firm says its single-wheeler feels so like hovering that it’s actually called the hoverboard. The board is mounted atop a 10-in wheel, with users leaning forward to accelerate and backwards to decelerate or change direction.

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he Hoverboard is, of course, very similar  to last year’s One Wheel  and that’s not something that has escaped the attention of its manufacturer. In a direct comparison with the One Wheel, Hoverboard Technologies claims its single-wheeled electric skateboard is faster, offers a longer rage and is quicker to charge. It’s also reported to use sonar technology to stay stable and has API connectivity.

 

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The 25 lb (11 kg) Hoverboard is powered by a 5,000 W motor, which is part of the drive-unit at the center of the wheel. This delivers a top speed limited to 16 mph (26 km/h) and a range of 12 miles (19 km). The board charges at a rate of 1.5 minutes per mile. The sonar detection informs the board’s self-balancing system to keep the board parallel with the ground, while regenerative braking is employed to recover energy and charge the board when going down hills or decelerating.

The board also has LED lighting, and built-in speakers for playing music while you ride. These features are said to use up to 10 percent and negligible amounts of power respectively. An LCD screen on the board displays information for the rider.