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When hoverboards hit the scene in 2015, they were an immediate success. Also known as self-balancing or two-wheeled boards, these toys can be a fun way to get around. However, many parents began to wonder — just how dangerous are hoverboards?
Shortly after their debut, several manufacturers started selling hoverboard that were not inspected for quality or safety. News reports revealed potential hoverboard dangers — motorized boards spontaneously overheating, catching fire and causing burns. To date, more than 300 of these incidents have been reported to the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
Newer hoverboards don’t pose the same level of fire risk. If you have an older model, visit the Consumer Product Safety Commission to see if there’s been a recall. All hoverboards should be compliant with the UL 2272 safety standard.
However, even if your child has one of the newest models, there are still hoverboard dangers to consider. After all, two-wheeled boards can be difficult to balance on, and falls resulting in injuries are not at all uncommon.
A Look at Hoverboard Injury Statistics
How often does a fall result in a serious hoverboard injury? Statistics from the American Academy of Pediatrics study show that about 26,854 children visited an emergency department with a hoverboard injury during 2015 and 2016. The average age of an injured child was 11, with boys being slightly more common than girls (52 percent of the children seen were boys).
Children were most likely to injure their wrists, forearms and heads. The most common injuries were:
Fractures (40 percent)
Bruises (17 percent)
Strains/sprains (13 percent)
While these hoverboard injury statistics may seem alarming, many other wheeled toys — that have been around much longer — result in trips to the emergency room as well. During the same 2015 to 2016 time period, skateboards caused almost 121,400 injuries.
How Does a Hoverboard Work?
Do you ever daydream about the future? What might the world be like in a few decades? Could there be cars without drivers? Trucks that fly? Boats driving on land and water?
You may already know about self-driving cars and self balancing hoverboard. But what about hoverboards? Picture it: You’re flying down the sidewalk on an object that looks like a skateboard without wheels. You turn a corner, swerve around other people, and get home from school in record time, without ever touching the ground!
Does this sound like science fiction? Think again! Hoverboards are already a reality. But how do they work?
The “hoverboards” you may have seen friends riding are actually self-balancing scooters. These scooters don’t hover above the ground. Instead, they use two wheels to get around.
Okay, so why are they called HOVERboards? People call self-balancing scooters “hoverboards” because of the sensors that help them stay balanced. The board’s sensors find out which way the rider is leaning. They then tell the board’s motor how fast and in what direction to spin. That’s how this “hoverboard” stays balanced!
Self-balancing scooters rely on a battery pack for power, and each one contains a logic board. You can think of this as the “brain” of the hoverboard. It processes things like the speed of the board and the tilt of its wheels. The logic board also manages settings. For example, hoverboards can be put in beginner mode to limit their maximum speed.
If you’re not satisfied with a self-balancing scooter, have no fear! Hoverboards with no wheels are coming soon—and they’ll truly float above the ground. Some of these hoverboards may use the science of magnets. They will have hover engines that contain electrically charged magnets, or electromagnets. These use an inductor to create a powerful magnetic field. When the magnetic field is strong enough, the board will float in the air!
A company called Omni has also created a hoverboard that uses propellers. Their design even holds the Guinness World Record for the farthest flight by hoverboard. It traveled 275.9 meters (905.2 feet). The Omni hoverboard is expected to hit the shelves in late-2021.
Would you like to travel by hoverboard? Do you see a future of these vehicles zooming through the streets? Or do you imagine even better ways of getting around? Anything is possible!
What is an all terrain hoverboard?
These are similar to the original hoverboards in how they work, but they are generally bigger, stronger and more durable. Instead of being a traditional 6.5 inch hoverboard, most have 8.5 or 10 inch wheels. Instead of solid rubber tires (which are only suitable for smooth ground) they have pneumatic tires for travelling safely and smoothly over a variety of terrains including grass, gravel and sand for a more exciting riding experience. This makes them far more versatile and more fun because you can use them almost anywhere. Most all terrain hoverboards even come with builtin bluetooth hoverboard capability AND they’re suitable for kids and adults of all ages!
Back in 2015 hoverboards hit the market with a bang. These two wheeled self balancing scooters became THE hot product of the year, and although they hit a few blips along the way (inferior quality models with cheap batteries caused some fire problems in the early days), they have only gone from strength to strength since then. In 2016 Underwriter Laboratories introduced the UL 2272 hoverboard certification, so hoverboards are now safer and higher quality than ever. In 2021 technology has advanced to the stage where we now have all terrain hoverboards that can travel over grass, sand, gravel and more (the traditional hoverboards that first came on the market were only suitable for smooth pavement). In this article I’m going to be discussing which is the best off road hoverboard available today.
Hoverboard? Still in the Future
The hoverboard is fiction, the vision of screenwriters who created the film about Marty McFly, a teenager who travels from 1985 to Oct. 21, 2015, and uses a floating skateboard to flee a gang of bullies.
The movie had other futuristic items, like flying cars and self-tying shoes, but none touched the imagination as much as the hoverboard. For the last 25 years, garage tinkerers, physics professors and top engineers at Google have been trying to make one.
Inside a drab office park here in Northern California, Greg and Jill Henderson are working on the latest effort. On a recent visit the couple allowed a reporter to stand atop a noisy magnetic skateboard that can float above a copper surface.
It hovers about an inch above the ground. But when the 190-pound visitor stood atop the 100-pound board, one gentle push was enough to send him spinning across the room over a cushion of air.
The Hendersons have poured their life savings into hover technology and are hoping to create new industries based on this science.
Dustin Rubio, 39, an electrician who grew up skateboarding and saw “Back to the Future Part II” when he was a teenager, is not thinking quite that big.
This year, Mr. Rubio turned “a leaf blower, some plywood, some plastic and duct tape” into a small hovercraft that his daughters used to glide down the driveway at his home in Napa, Calif. “I was like I’m just gonna make something funny and see if it works,” he said.
Unfortunately, his invention is not really a new hoverboard. Bob Gale, who wrote the “Back to the Future” trilogy, said that, in his imagination anyway, the hoverboard floats on a magnetic field similar to magnetic levitation trains.Continue reading the main story
This has been extremely difficult, mostly because of something called Earnshaw’s theorem, which states, more or less, that repelling magnets are tough to balance. One way is to use a track that would hold the magnetic skateboard in place, but what self-respecting skateboarder wants to be constrained to a track?
Superconductors can also levitate things. In 2011, a research group directed by Alain Sacuto, a physics professor at the Université Paris Diderot, used smoking-cold superconductors to levitate a liquid-nitrogen-filled skateboard that he and others rode across a five-meter magnetic rail.
In March, the website Funny or Die released a video that seemed to show the skateboarder Tony Hawk on a real hoverboard. Mr. Hawk later apologized for misleading fans.
“As early as this morning I had three emails from people: Is this real? Can I buy it?” Rachel Goldenberg, who produced the video, said on Monday.
If you had to time-travel back to 1989 and place a couple of bets on who might invent the hoverboard, Rich DeVaul would have been a good wager. Mr. DeVaul is a senior engineer at Google X, the company’s research division. He is also a longboard skater and a snowboarder.
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