The Slide is a maglev hoverboard developed by Lexus in 2015. But it isn’t the Marty McFly hoverboard from Back in the Future that we have been waiting for.
Lexus built a specially constructed skate park in Barcelona, Spain for the project. The system was built as a promotional demonstration, and not, unfortunately, for public sale.
The hoverboard contains powerful magnets which are cooled to -197 degrees celsius with liquid nitrogen, allowing the board to ride along a track hidden in the surface of the skate park.
- Time: Project took about 57 weeks from start to finish.
- Name: The SLIDE
- Team: Dietmar Berger, a magnetic levitation engineer, and Ludwig Schultz, a pioneer of superconducting levitation, were the main experts responsible for the design of the system.
- Skateboarder: Professional skateboarder Ross McGouran was the main rider for testing & promotional riding
How the Lexus Board Works
As explained by Lexus, its hoverboard, the Slide, relies on superconductors and magnets, which combine to repel the force of gravity and lift the skateboard and its rider—above the ground.
The hoverboard is constructed from an insulated core, containing HTSLs (high temperature superconducting blocks).
These are housed in cryostats – reservoirs of liquid nitrogen that cool the superconductors to -197°C.The board is then placed above a track containing permanent magnets.
When the board is cooled to its operating temperature the track’s magnetic flux lines are ‘pinned’ into place, maintaining the hover height of the board.
If that all sounds a little technical, try to picture a maglev train, which relies on similar principles to achieve speeds of, in the case of Shanghai’s Transrapid, over 300mph.
- Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lexus_hoverboard
- Infographics: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-3185394/The-Lexus-hoverboard-real-sort-Firm-finally-shows-riders-levitating-board-admits-run-special-tracks.html
- The Lexus Hoverboard: The Story: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oyGlNLpQ7CQ
- How That Lexus Hoverboard Actually Works: https://www.wired.com/2015/06/lexus-hoverboard-slide/
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