Some people call them self-balancing scooters, others balance boards, and others still Segways without handlebars. Whatever you call them, there’s no denying that Hoverboards are a revolutionary technology that, when refined properly, will completely change how we move on a daily basis.
But while this technology has been received with open arms, you’ve got to wonder how exactly it works. Don’t worry; we’ve done the digging for you.
But before we start, you need to know the components that make up a hoverboard. These include:
*A plastic shell
*A battery pack
*Two speed/tilt sensors (found within the wheels)
*Two electric motors (also within the wheels)
*Two infrared sensors
*A logic board and
*A steel frame with a central pivot
Now to the nitty-gritties:
The wheel sensor
The wheels are an integral part of the hoverboard. They contain the electric motors, as well as a tilt/speed sensor that detects the rpm (or revolutions per minute) of each wheel.
This information is then transmittedto the speed control boards and gyroscope located within the main body, just besides the wheels.
Speed Control Boards/Gyroscope
The work of the speed control boards and gyroscope is simple: to relay the tilt and rpm information received from the sensor to the primary logic board.
You can calibrate the board to bring the gyroscopes to “zero”. When the tilt of the hoverboard is at “0”, it means that the machine is flat.
The Primary Logic Board
The logic board can be described as the “brain” of the hoverboard. It contains a processor that calibrates in real time the speed at which you are travelling, the status of the board, and the relative tilt and speed of each wheel.
The main logic board also governs power management and determines whether the machine is “locked” or if you are in “beginner mode” (in order to limit the maximum speed).
The Battery Pack
The battery pack, as the name suggests, is what powers your hoverboard. There are several different kinds of battery packs in the market. However, most of them are usually 36V 4400mAH.
How Does It Detect Motion?
This is where things get really interesting. There are two switches below each pressure pad. When you lean forward, you force the front switch down and a small plastic “wall” appears in-between the integrated infrared sensor and infrared LED.
The logic board allows the motors to remain still as long as the light is detected by the sensor. Once this light is obstructed (by pushing your weight over the switch), the logic
board releases the motor to spin in a specific direction.
For instance, if you are turning left, the front right switch is activated by your foot and the right wheel spins forward. The back left switch is activated by your other foot, forcing the wheel to spin backwards.
Balancing the Hoverboard
The tilt sensors located within the wheels determine how far forward you are leaning and then pass this information to the gyroscopes. The gyroscopes transfer this information to the primary logic board.
The speed with which the motors spin will depend on how far you are inclined forward (and subsequently the speed of the hoverboard) in order to compensate for the center of gravity.
In a nutshell, it’s a simple but clever mechanism that allows you to regulate the speed of your self-balancing scooter using your weight.