On the face of it, the hoverboard looks like a simple device – two wheels and a deck for standing on that is propelled forward by battery power, but in actual fact, it’s a high-tech, advanced and complicated piece of kit.
It’s a bit like one of those cable wall boxes – it’s only when you look inside and see the wiring that you realise just how complex it is.
Everything in the hoverboard is held together by a durable steel plate. It’s what you stand on to ride the board and it also houses a set of pressure pads.
Unscrew the plastic outer casing of a hoverboard and you’ll also find a battery, logic board, a set of gyroscopes, two motors, a power switch, charging port and possibly some LED lights depending on the make and model.
The beating heart of the hoverboard is the battery – without it, the hoverboard wouldn’t go anywhere. It’s a lithium-ion battery and will usually be between 36V and 42V. Lithium-ion batteries are used because they are light weight, hold a lot of power and can charge quickly.
It is the logic board however, that controls the hoverboard. It’s a bit like a computer motherboard and processes information such as the how fast the wheels are turning, the speed of the hoverboard and the tilt.
But what makes the hoverboard unique and very different from say an e-scooter or an electric skateboard, are the gyroscopes. There are two of them, by each of the wheels and they tell the motherboard how fast the hoverboard is moving and which way the foot plate is tilting.
The gyroscopes work alongside the pressure pads, which are on the footplate. When you step on these pads, the motherboard gets a signal via a set of infrared sensors to say that there is a rider on board and the balancing process will commence. This kick starts the brushless motors (there are two of these situated in each wheel) and the rider must lean backwards or forwards, in order to control the hoverboard when it is in motion.
Some hoverboards come with a remote, that will enable you to lock it when not in use. The charging port does exactly what you expect – this is where you plug in your charger. Make sure you have one that is compatible with your motherboard. If you are unsure, consult the manufacturers or the retailer.
Optional extras include Bluetooth speakers, great if you want to listen to your favourite tunes as you ride, fog lights and turn signals – if you don’t have this you can add them on as an accessory.