Shopping? Check out our latest product comparisons

Open-source hoverboard project seeks $1 million just to get started

By

July 4, 2013

A rendering of how the final product may look

A rendering of how the final product may look

Image Gallery (4 images)

Ever since moviegoers watched in awe as Marty McFly sped along on a hoverboard in Back To The Future Part II, many of us have dreamed of having a real-life hoverboard of our own. Sadly no such product exists, but that hasn't stopped someone from dreaming of making it happen. To do so, they're asking for US$1 million on crowdfunding platform Indiegogo.

Haltek Industries believes "the world needs a Hoverboard," and that it's the company to build it. In order to do so, it needs $1 million to build a platform to catalog any advances made over the next few years, with form factors and power sources explored to find the best way forward. The ultimate aim is to launch the finished product in Q3 2015.

In other words, this is a plea for funding to the tune of $1 million to essentially just get the ball rolling on building a real-life working hoverboard. All that is being guaranteed is a website housing all of the data collected and prototypes tested, and a hoverboard controller app for mobile platforms.

The Hoverboard Controller app as imagined by the creators of this Indiegogo project

People who contribute $10,000 or more will be "one of the first in the world to own a real working hoverboard" but the June 2015 delivery estimate could slip to ... well, your guess is as good as mine and, I suspect, the company's. Other perks include a miniature hoverboard for $1,000, $50 for voting rights on design choices, and $10 for access to the "development center" on the website.

Some of the technology needed to make a hoverboard become a reality does indeed exist. Two examples in particular are mentioned specifically in the proposal: Chris Malloy's prototype hoverbike, which uses omni-direction tubeaxial blowers to gain vertical lift; and IBM's lithium air batteries, which create energy from drawing in oxygen, potentially making them both light and powerful enough to provide a power source. But it's a leap of faith to cite two future projects not ready for primetime as a reason to believe in a third.

The $1 million needs to be raised by August 27 for the project to carry on. Those tempted to contribute should bear in mind the first line of the Indiegogo plea, "Probably impossible ... But certainly worth a try!" before parting with their cash.

Source: Indiegogo

About the Author
Dave Parrack Dave is a technology journalist with a ravenous appetite for gadgets, gizmos, and gubbins. He's based in the U.K., and from his center of operations writes about all facets of modern and future technology. He has learned more in his five years writing for the Web than he did in 11 years at school, and with none of the boring subjects thrown in to the mix.   All articles by Dave Parrack
Tags
16 Comments

Oh boy... the guy that made the "the dipr - a spoon for dunking sandwich cookies" (http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/rhaleluk/the-dipr-a-spoon-for-dunking-sandwich-cookies) actually thinks he can make a hoverboard...

it smells like rip off... only smells, after all, he has credentials (NOPE.. he does not)

http://www.linkedin.com/in/roberthaleluk

nope... he is not the guy to the job, as a piece of advice: make a prototype, show it, THEN ask for money.. not the other way arround.

Sebastian Basaure
4th July, 2013 @ 03:01 pm PDT

Very cool,

I doubt it'll be funded sadly.

Matthew Adams
4th July, 2013 @ 04:16 pm PDT

"Probably impossible ... But certainly worth a try!"

I can pretty much 100% guarantee that it's impossible, so why is it worth a try?

The recently developed Martin Jetpack is arguably the world's most compact human-levitating device, and it has a volume something like 20x what you'd need for a board.

http://www.gizmag.com/martin-jetpack-investors/23793/

Joshua Smallwood
4th July, 2013 @ 06:07 pm PDT

Needs industrial mesh to cover the top and bottom of the blades to remove possibility of falling on to them if you loose you balance and fall.

My only concern is stability with the center of mass (user) being higher then the blades.

Would require something like a Segway gyro (or two) to keep it level.

Would recommended a closed cycle rechargeable fuel cell for additional power density. One that could be recharged from the outlet overnight.

I'm personally more in favor of the hover-bike concept with vertically aligned rotors and VTOL as the riding position provides better stability.

Nairda
4th July, 2013 @ 06:11 pm PDT

I wish people would stop clogging up kickstarter with stupid render.

Just because you have a copy of Inventor does not make you an inventor.

nutcase
4th July, 2013 @ 09:52 pm PDT

There are electric bicycles in the $3,000 to $5,000 range and the amount of power needed to propel a bicycle forward is orders of magnitude smaller than what is needed to actually get you off the ground.

Getting a person off the ground with a couple of 12" fans powered by a battery just isn't going to happen and especially not for $10k. He even mentions the battery technology he is looking at is under development and experimental and I suspect IBM is millions of dollars away from anything that would be ready for a consumer product.

Having your small project depend on a major breakthrough in battery technology dooms it mostly right out the gate. There are other major issues as well. The stabilization firmware is going to require significant R&D alone, probably more than their budget.

You cannot stabilize the platform using 2 fixed fans so the platform will need to move fans on more than one axis to make adjustments. The need for these joints limits space available for the battery. If you put your foot above a fan it will stop moving air too.

Without first just building a lightweight version of the platform designed to support only itself they are biting off waay more than they can chew with platform intended to transport humans.

AFAIK they are not under financial obligation to pay back the money if the project fails (and it will). Their goals are so unrealistic with the project they are pretty much just trying to con suckers out of $10,000 each.

Daishi
4th July, 2013 @ 11:00 pm PDT

Agree with Joshua Smallwood.

I would guess that even a very lightweight board would need at least 100kw of power to levitate you which is more than many cars.

The smaller the rotor area, the more power you need.

Probably compact turbofan engines like on a massenger jet would be the most realistic way to do it now and would burn massive amounts of fuel while still being much heavyer than the hoverboard suggested here and would of course be extremely expensive.

revetahw
5th July, 2013 @ 10:45 am PDT

100 years from now,maybe a discussion of how,we might be able to work within the laws of physics to build one,for now we should stick to enjoying the movie.

Thomas Lewis
5th July, 2013 @ 10:48 am PDT

I also need $1 million to research and develop a hover... shoe.

*spends 5 minutes with a calculator* Research complete. Time to book my flight to the Caribbean.

Pin
5th July, 2013 @ 11:11 am PDT

If a guy who does not have a back ground in physics for building an anti gravitational hovering device is asking for a million bucks, then I'd like to ask for several billion for my new spaceship.

Gargamoth
6th July, 2013 @ 07:15 pm PDT

Give him $2m instead and maybe he can make a time machine whilst he's at it?

JPAR
8th July, 2013 @ 09:30 am PDT

The point is 100kW can be generated using one or two micro-turbines, that are light, and might actually offer a Gyroscopic effect to aid in stability. Can run it on Ethanol.

As far as lift, maybe not necessarily make the blades bigger, but increase blade surface area. Make them deeper. And add a bigger apron like a hovercraft to keep a better air pocket.

Realistically it won't hover more then 200-400mm off the ground, and will be subject to a lot of air feedback causing additional instability.

I do agree with other comments. This thing is still going to be a death trap if not correctly stabilized, and if you lean too sharply the first thing it will want to do is plow into the ground.

Hence my original comment that you probably want to be in some kind of seating position rather then trying to free stand.

Nairda
8th July, 2013 @ 05:26 pm PDT

A hover device needs less power than a full flying device (e.g. jet pack). It is unfair to compare a hover board with a jet pack - a better comparison is a hover board v.s. a hover bike, the bike being perhaps a better first step.

Stuart Gathman
4th November, 2013 @ 01:35 pm PST

Anybody heard anything on progress or failure of this try?

Cannot see any chance of success for decades, the power/weight ratio and stability problems alone would soak up 1B not a measily 1M

dollars.

I can see investors (suckers?) getting reports from the Bahamas or somewhere less extradition empowered.

The Skud
6th February, 2014 @ 07:32 pm PST

until roads become made by use of super conductors and wireless energy transference this is about as pointless as us still allowing gas vehicles on the road

Tommy Hickok
22nd May, 2014 @ 12:31 pm PDT

Just wait for anti gravity or do your own research and get a blueprint project yourself

Hoang Vu
28th May, 2014 @ 06:59 am PDT
Post a Comment

Login with your gizmag account:

Or Login with Facebook:


Related Articles
Looking for something? Search our 27,814 articles