September 18, 2007 These days the term skateboard tends to refer to a whole raft of different transport modes that go way beyond the two-axle, four wheeled conveyances that rose to prominence in the 1970s – everything from in-line caster boards to spokeless mini-motorcycles and sit-down street machines tend to be categorized under the genre. Just when you thought it was safe to go back to the ramp, a new concept has emerged that could see self-balancing technology and electric propulsion incorporated into the skateboard design. The iSlide concept by industrial designer Ofir Tal is a one wheel motorized board that utilizes a hydrogen fuel cell and onboard gyroscope to attain speeds of around 15 kph.
Described as a mix of snowboarding and skateboarding, the iSlide’s motion is controlled by leaning forwards (to accelerate) and backwards (to slow down).
To optimize its urban transport functionality lights have been included in the design for night-time use and a handle is integrated into the rear of the board for ease of transportation on buses and trains.
The prototype (pictured) model is yet to have the computer and gyroscopic array finalized.
Sony hit the drawing board with a concept that also relied on self-balancing technology back in 2006, but we are yet to see any products emerge from the designs.
Ofir, who has recently completed studies at Israel’s Hadasa College, is seeking interest from investors to assist in future development of the project. We will be very interested to see the final result.
Gizmag will keep readers posted as further details of the project emerge and in the meantime, Ofir can be contacted via email.
Gizmag is also keen to hear from other design students who are pushing the boundaries of new technology – if that sounds like you, feel free to email us with the details.