Saturday, July 08, 2006

Building a hoverboard

I'm going to try to build a hoverboard. Here are some videos of people building and playing with hoverboards:
  • One
  • Two
  • Long and detailed with info about design principles
  • Here is a TV show in England where a guy built one and provided lots of instructions.
These all run with gasoline-powered leafblowers. Some of them are designed so that the leafblower doesn't need to be destroyed. I have a leafblower, so here we go. The clearest instructions I could find for doing this were here. I found some 1/4-inch plywood in the garage and cut out an oval-shaped board on the table saw. I cut out some thick plastic blue tarp for the skirt. All this stuff came from Home Depot. Here's the leafblower, with its elliptical snout. I will need an elliptical hole in the board to put the snout in, so the underside of the board can fill with air. Here are the tools for making the elliptical snout hole. It came out a little rough, but I hope to put something soft or foamy around it anyway, to help seal it, so I think I can tolerate this much slop. There is also a hole in the center, for a bolt that will hold the middle of the curtain to the top of the board. So I got the thing put together. I connected the center of the skirt to the bottom of the board with a plywood disc strain relief. I stapled the skirt to the top of the board and duct-taped liberally all the way around the edge of the skirt. I put some duct tape around the elliptical snout hole to help the seal. I don't think the duct tape around the snout hole did much good, the gap was still quite big. I may decide to sacrifice the leafblower after all, or maybe its normal snout is removable and replaceable with a hose whose other end could be liberally duct-taped to the board. I got the thing working, after a fashion. I climbed aboard, trying standing, sitting, and kneeling positions. I had made the skirt too baggy, so the craft was much too tippy. Trying to just keep it balanced had me sweating like a horse. A couple of times, I was able to balance it well enough that it started to move frictionlessly for a second or two. Then I uploaded my FIRST GOOGLE VIDEO EVER!!! OMG PONIES!!!! I need a tighter skirt, and a better seal for the leafblower. I might want to see about finding a lighter passenger. References