Being one of the most popular products today, the beginnings of the hoverboard (self-balancing two-wheel board) go back a long time, more precisely from the ’60s. Also, some movies have used it and made it even more famous. In this article, we will see how a hoverboard works so that you know everything in detail and know if it is the ideal electric unicycle for you.
Going back a long time, in California, during the ’60s, it was the skates that took over the market, thus becoming one of the most modern means of transport. Any young person wanted to know how to use it. But it wasn’t until the 1980s that it really caught on worldwide. To this, we must add the visibility given by the movie Back to the Future 2 where they announced the use of a special scooter that would allow us to move from one place to another floating in the air. It was precisely from there that the name of a hoverboard (hoverboard in Spanish) was taken, that although the one we know today is not 100% the same as the one in the film it does have several similarities.
At the hoverboard, it is considered as a direct descendant of the Segways, so on occasions also called mini Segway, hoverboard, Smart Scooter … . And it is logical since the mode of use is very similar thanks to the self-balancing system. If you know how a hoverboard works, you already have a long way to go with Segways.
Initially, hoverboards had a single central wheel along with the two-foot supports, but it was not really something very comfortable to use and there were various difficulties in achieving true balance. For this reason, with the passage of time, it was modified until it reached the design we know today: a table with two self-balancing wheels that allow a natural movement to move from one point to another.
Many wonders who invented the hoverboard. The actual inventor of the first hoverboard was Shane Chen, who in 2013 launched the first units under the Hovertrax brand in Washington. Since then, this vehicle has become a trend both for fun and for use as a means of transportation.
According to experts, we are facing the predecessors of the classic skateboards, thus allowing us to change the way of skateboarding forever.
Before you start buying a hoverboard, take a look at the following information that will surely be useful to you. From now on you will no longer have any doubt about how a hoverboard works.
How a hoverboard works
Surely, when you have seen the use of a hoverboard for the first time you have thought that it is really a very difficult type of vehicle to use, for which a lot of practice is needed. However, after reading how a hoverboard works, you will realize that it is the opposite.
The hoverboard is part of the types of electric unicycle that contain a special gyroscopic and self-balancing system. What does it mean? That makes use of the natural movement of the body so that you can move calmly and feel that it is a movement that you can do without forcing yourself. Thanks to this, when you place your body with the weight forward you will allow the vehicle to move forward, while when you place your body backward, the effect will be reversed and it will go backward or stop. This is why posture is so important when getting on it because it is really the key to how a hoverboard is used.
As regards the gyroscopic system, it is what makes it possible to rotate. Thanks to it, the hoverboard will calculate the longitudinal inclination that exists between what is the device and the ground itself. Thus, this information will be transmitted to the controllers that are inside the motor causing it to be given indications of how it should turn to maintain the balance of the user who is on it. Thanks to this, performing turns is simple, having to simply rotate your shoulders a little towards the side you want to make the turn. This is how the system receives information from the hoverboard and performs all the aforementioned work.
Parts Need For Making A Hoverboard
So that you know more in-depth the operation of a hoverboard, we are going to see those parts that compose it:
- Power button: it is the button through which we will start the hoverboard to start our journey.
- Off or lock button: when we want to stop using it, it will be the button to press to end its use and thus save battery.
- Pressure sensors: they are usually found in the lower area of the table and are sensors that allow you to adjust the balance of each person who gets on the mini Segway. That is why it is so important that when we get into the vehicle, we do it right in the place where the sensors are to make self-balancing easier.
- LED lights: depending on the model you will have one type of light or others. They are activated once you start to use and are very useful when used at night.
- Screen: in some designs, you can also find a screen where information about the hoverboard is indicated.
- Remote control: in many models, this accessory is included in order to have greater security. The remote control usually works in a range of 5 kilometers, allowing us to have access to different options such as ignition, blocking, calibration, among others.
- Rubber tires: this is what partly demonstrates the quality of the hoverboard since the tires are an essential part of it. The higher the quality, the greater its grip on the ground. You will have very different tires depending on the size of the wheel selected on the hoverboard.
- Electric motor: it is integrated into the wheel and is what allows it to be an electric vehicle as well as to reach a certain speed. Generally, the maximum speed of a hoverboard will not be greater than 10 km / h.
- Central pivot: it is an essential part to make use of the gyroscopic system and thus be able to rotate with the hoverboard.
- Battery: it is what allows the vehicle to be autonomous. It is important to have a suitable battery and to give it the necessary maintenance so that it lasts longer.
- Motherboard: together with the motor, it is the one who receives the information to make the hoverboard work correctly.
The importance of the battery in a mini Segway
The battery is one of the essential elements when it comes to a hoverboard or even any type of electric unicycle. It is what allows the vehicle to function, that is why it must be properly maintained.
If at any time the battery emits a strange sound, an odor or you feel it overheated, you should not use the hoverboard as there is something that is not working well.
Another point to take into account in its safety is the fact that the mini Segway should never be used with the charger in place. This must be removed previously to avoid accidents.
During the loading process, we must make sure that the port where we will place the charger is completely dry. In addition, the temperature of the load must be between 0º and 40º. It should never be done colder or hotter as we would run the risk of damaging the battery and causing it to not charge properly.
In order to provide proper maintenance, we recommend that you let the battery charge 100% as you do with mobiles. When for some reason you cannot respect this action, what will happen is that in each charge you will be losing battery, which means that it will have less autonomy and will mean that in less time than expected, you have to buy a new one for your hoverboard.
The average utility of a 100% charged battery is usually about 15 kilometers, something that can vary depending on the battery power. In general, hoverboards include a 4400 mAh battery. Keep in mind that if you have a steep road on the way, the battery will last less time since the motor will need to make more effort to get its movement. Also, your weight will also affect battery life.
As for the charging time, it is normal for it to be about 2 hours long.
How to use a hoverboard
Now that you have more information about the hoverboard, it’s time to know how it is handled. Learning how to get on it, how to brake, etc. are some of the keys that will make you see that driving a vehicle of this style is not as complicated as it seems at first.
How to get on
It is usually the most “tense” moment and the most complex, especially the first few times. When you get on, it will be when the hoverboard can calculate your weight and thus activate the self-balancing system to get moving.
If it is the first time you are going to get on, it is best to ask someone for help so you do not lose your balance.
Go up one foot first and immediately go up the next. If it takes a long time to raise the other foot, what will happen is that the hoverboard will activate because it has already recognized a weight on it and therefore it will start moving and you may have an accident. Stay still for a few seconds and you will see how it gets moving. Do not worry if you feel insecure the first few times, it is normal, so it is best to have the help of someone so as not to be afraid.
How to start a Smart Scooter (Hoverboard)
Now that you’ve got on board, it’s time to find out how to use the hoverboard. We have commented that its self-balancing system makes you have a natural movement in your body, which means that you press your feet forward to move forward. The more you lean your body forward, the faster you will reach. Despite this, hoverboards incorporate a safety system in which they cannot go faster than 10 or 15 km / h depending on the model, so when they exceed it will beep and stop.
How to turn
One of the peculiarities of these special vehicles is the fact that they contain a gyroscopic system. The gyroscopic system is one that allows turns that can even be 360º turns. It will be the sensor that is inside the one that detects the movement and reacts to the turn we want to make according to the movement we make. To do this, it will be as simple as slowly turning our shoulders to the left or right and accompanying the movement of the body and the movement itself that the hoverboard will make, making a complete turn.
How to brake and get off
For a hoverboard to stop it will be as simple as keeping our body in a vertical position without making any type of force or movement with our feet forward. You can also move your body backward little by little which will cause the hoverboard to slow down.
When you want to get off and stop using it, it will be enough that, once it is stopped, you lower one foot back and then the other foot. You will be calmly on the ground. Remember that you must turn off the hoverboard so that it does not continue to consume battery.
The vast majority of manufacturers bring instructions on how to handle the hoverboard along with exercises for you to practice and that in a short time you can use it without problems, feeling that you do it with total fluidity.
Types of hoverboard
As with the vast majority of electric unicycles or special vehicles, you will find different models and designs on the market. It is important that you choose the one that best suits you and your needs, which generally have a lot to do with the purpose of using the hoverboard.
In this case, in addition to having some minor differences in how one hoverboard works from another, what they really differ is in the size of their wheel. Thus, the size of the wheel will determine the size of the hoverboard and therefore the size of your board. This means that it is not possible to mount wheels on a type of hoverboard that has not been designed for them, so it is difficult to customize it.
Let’s see the different existing models:
Hoverboard with 4.5 ” wheels
It is a fairly new model. Intended for hoverboard users between 3 and 8 years old, so we could say that it is a vehicle for the little ones, although it does not stop having the functions of hoverboards for adults.
The movements that are made with it are exactly the same and it works the same as the rest. It usually has a design intended for children, with bright colors and some drawings such as bears or cartoons, something that will depend on the manufacturer.
Being so small, its weight is very light, so you can move it from one point to another without a problem, thus turning it into a very manageable hoverboard.
One of the advantages compared to the rest is that having 4.5 ” wheels makes the space between the board and the ground very small, which makes it much safer in case of having some kind of accident.
Despite all of the above, it must be taken into account that there is a risk of the child falling and losing balance, so we always recommend wearing it with a helmet to avoid inconveniences. Make sure you teach him to learn how a hoverboard works.
Hoverboard with 6.5 ” wheels
It is the standard model of the hoverboard that you will find in the market. Thanks to its 6.5 ” wheels you will have great stability and support. Within the range of hoverboards with 6.5 ” wheels there are some differences depending on the manufacturer that will vary in the types of tires, accessories, and extra features that will make one design different from another. For example, some designs will include Bluetooth along with a speaker so you can listen to your favorite music.
As a recommendation, it is good to notice that the hoverboard chosen contains the UL certificate is that it is the type of certificate which ensures the quality of the battery including the apparatus, in addition to finding that have made all relevant safety tests with same.
They are hoverboards for adults, so they are surely the ones you see frequently on the street.
Hoverboard with 10 ” wheels
They are the most professional hoverboards on the market. Intended for people who are looking for more than just fun to use it to move from one point to another. Unlike the previous one, as it has a larger wheel, it can be used on all types of surfaces such as grass, dirt, or asphalt. Being on terrain with slopes or similar will be much easier with this hoverboard. By having larger boards, you will feel much more comfortable placing your feet on it since you will have more space which also translates into greater security.
How to calibrate a hoverboard
During the learning to know how a hoverboard works or how to use it, you may run into some inconveniences. They will also appear with the passage of time and use. That’s why sometimes, before taking it to a workshop to see what happens, we can try to solve the problem with a reset that will allow the hoverboard to be re-calibrated almost like a factory.
To perform a calibration you will have to follow the following steps:
- Turn on the hoverboard by pressing and holding the power button for at least 10 seconds.
- Release the button. You will meet a red light that will make a sound.
- Now, turn off the hoverboard normally.
- Turn it back on.
In this way, you will get the hoverboard to reset and return to the way you received it from the factory. If for some reason it does not work properly then there may be another problem you are having. You can also try a digital hoverboard rebalance that they sell in many stores and that sometimes fixes the fault.
Another type of inconvenience that you can find are:
- The battery does not charge correctly: in this case, there may be a problem with the connection of the battery charge that goes directly to the motherboard. Try another battery charger and you will know if it is one or the other problem.
- Lights do not turn on: check very well that the LEDs are not burned out as you may need a replacement.
- Hoverboard works alone: if the hoverboard starts to work by itself without you getting on it, what we recommend is to perform the calibration or reset again since it needs to be completely rebalanced.
- Fixed red light: generally when a fixed red light appears what it is indicating is an alert that makes the hoverboard not work. In these cases there may be several problems, so we recommend that you first check the calibration, connections, or motors, otherwise take it to a professional.
- Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t: there are usually connection problems in the area of the motherboard. It could also be that there are problems with the power button or with the battery if you have not given it proper maintenance during use.
We hope that now you know a little more about how a hoverboard works, the parts that compose it, it’s handling, and the different models on the market. There are also some pros and cons of hoverboard you need to read and without a doubt, it is a very entertaining vehicle that will allow you to move from one point to another effortlessly. Of course, you have to be prepared for people to see you on the street when you walk with him 😉
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