Lexus brought Back to the Future sci-fi technology back to the present. The Japanese luxury automotive company completed a full and final reveal of the hoverboard project concluding a successful testing phase which took place in Cubelles, Barcelona.
The Lexus Hoverboard makes use of magnetic resistance between cryostatic reservoirs mounted under the board and a special track containing permanent magnets. The project began 18 months ago through a collaboration with a team of scientists from IFW Dresden and evico GmbH, who specialise in magnetic levitation technology.
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Extensive tests on Lexus hoverboard continued with the collaboration of pro skateboarder and hoverboard test rider Ross McGouran. “I’ve spent 20 years skateboarding, but without friction it feels like I’ve had to learn a whole new skill, particularly in the stance and balance in order to ride” said McGouran.
The team moved then from in Dresden, Germany, to a specially constructed hoverpark in Barcelona. Thanks to up to 200 meters of magnetic track, the new setting combined elements from skate culture with technology within its architecture.
Thanks to this especially designed surface the team managed to perform dynamic tests that demonstrated tricks no skateboard could ever perform, like travelling across water.
The hoverboard features a two “cryostats”—reservoirs in which superconducting material is kept at -197 degrees through immersion in liquid nitrogen. the hoverboard can then be placed above a track with permanent magnets.
Dr. Oliver de Haas, evico CEO, said: “The magnetic field from the track is effectively ‘frozen’ into the superconductors in the board, maintaining the distance between the board and the track—essentially keeping the board hovering. This force is strong enough to allow the rider to stand and even jump on the board”.
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Mark Templin, Executive Vice President at Lexus International said: “Embarking on this project, we set out to push the boundaries of technology, design and innovation to make the impossible possible”.
So far the The Lexus Hoverboard remains a prototype. The project is part of the Amazing in Motion campaign series that showcases creativity and innovation from the Lexus brand.