“Just like anything else, a successful result starts with a working prototype and continues to evolve as more resources are brought to bear on design optimization and technology advancements” – Greg & Jill Henderson
Willamette Valley Company values innovation. We admire the many individuals who are working to put their ideas into action with the goal of raising the bar and making our world a better, more sustainable place. Our innovator spotlight this month is on Greg & Jill Henderson, co-founders of Arx Pax, the company behind the development of the Hendo Hoverboard.
Remember the iconic scene when Marty McFly zips through town on a levitating skateboard in the 80’s film “Back to the Future 2” (which happens to take place in the year 2015)? That could soon be a reality.
The Hendo Hoverboard is described by Arx Pax as a stable, self-propelled, levitation platform with no external power source. The key principle behind this technology is Magnetic Field Architecture (MFA), Henderson’s term for what others may call magnetic levitation, or maglev. Maglev is already transforming the rail industry in some Asian countries by powering “super trains”. These trains have the ability to travel at extreme high speeds because there is no friction between the train’s wheels and axles and the rails.
Unlike a train, the Hendo Hoverboard doesn’t follow a track. Rather, it hovers freely over a special surface plated in copper which acts as an inductor that allows an electric current to flow through it resulting in a magnetic field. “The magic behind the hoverboard lies in its four disc-shaped hover engines,” the company says. “These create a special magnetic field which literally pushes against itself, generating the lift which levitates our board off the ground.
Click here for a more detailed explanation of the science behind this device.
Want to see it in action? Watch skateboarding champ Tony Hawk try it out during a recent visit to the Arx Pax labs in Los Gatos, California.
Though there are limitations, the Hendersons are hopeful the Hendo Hoverboard will serve as a starting point for future innovators to develop the technology and ultimately serve the larger goals of sustainability and safety. “We’re trying to inspire co-creation across the globe, and we’re getting some fantastic responses. The ideas that people have already come up with for the company’s hovering Whitebox (a scaled-back form of the hovering engine) are “amazing” and “exciting,” Greg says in a recent post.
To learn more about the Hendersons, Arx Pax and their inventions, visit these helpful resources.