We blogged this yesterday; now Lexus has unveiled its hoverboard, and purpose built hover park in Barcelona.
Clearly it’s less of a science-fiction fantasy, and more a story of old fashioned trial-and-error iterative engineering. And that’s OK. It’s the same ‘maglev‘ technology which has been in development for trains for over 40 years. The ‘ride’ is confined to a pre-ordained track, embedded beneath the park surface. A magnetic field, generated by the track, induces a field in the superconducting material in the board, causing a repulsive force which supports the board and its rider without friction.
So is it a marketing stunt for Lexus? Of course it is.
Is it real engineering, breaking new ground, educating and inspiring? Yes – it’s that too.
And the ‘steam effect’ is pretty cool, from the liquid Nitrogen which keeps the superconductors at the right temperature.