Hoverboard

by Yora Nusselder | Updated on:  June 21, 2022

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What is a hoverboard?

A hoverboard is an electric one-person means of transport. It's kind of a cross between a skateboard and a Segway (without handlebars). As it were, it is a self-balancing skateboard, which is powered by motors.

The wheels are at a hoverboard however, to the side, propelling you forward.

By leaning in a certain direction you can determine both the direction and the speed of the board. Because a steering wheel is also missing, your balance is very important.

The means of transport is also called a self-balancing scooter.

How does a hoverboard work?

With a hoverboard, it is your body that controls the device.

The place where your feet are and the pressure you exert on the board determine your speed and which way you go.

But how exactly does a hoverboard work?

Parts

The board consists of different parts.

  • Infrared sensors: At the top of the hoverboard are two pressure plates. The pressure plates communicate with the wheels by means of infrared sensors. The placement of your feet determines the movement of the wheels.
  • Engine: The wheels of the hoverboard also contain the motors that drive the device. In addition, the tilt and speed sensors are also built into the wheels. The sensors measure the number of rotations per minute. This information is then forwarded to the gyroscopes.
  • Gyroscope: You can simply see a gyroscope as a kind of top. A hoverboard contains two gyroscopes that, by the pressure of your feet on the device, can determine the rotation and speed. The gyroscope sensors also register how far you lean forward or backward. They are important for the stability of the hoverboard. The data received by the gyroscope is then forwarded to the motherboard.
  • Motherboard: The information about the speed and rotation is processed by a kind of microprocessor. This is an important part of the hoverboard. The wheels are controlled on the basis of the data that the motherboard processes. TaoTao is the number one brand that develops the original circuit boards and sensors for the hoverboards. The motherboard also has an overview of the energy consumption and sends out a signal when the battery is (almost) empty.
  • Accu: The battery of a hoverboard keeps the device moving. There are different types of batteries, which often affect the duration of the trip. It is a part that you should certainly not cut back on. A number of cheap Li-ion batteries have caught fire in recent years.

How should you use a hoverboard?

Here some tips for using this board. If you've never ridden a hoverboard, then you can the first few rides may be a bit tricky.

Make sure the battery is full

First, make sure the battery is properly charged. It is a requirement that the hoverboard is charged to a maximum of 50% during transport in the box.

So make sure to charge the board when you have unpacked it.

But also make sure the battery charges well, and not too long, between uses.

Self-balancing function by the Tao Tao motherboard

Before you step on a hoverboard, it is important that you understand the principle of the board.

Due to the technology of the Tao Tao motherboard, this Denver hoverboard has a self-balancing function.

The self-balancing function has the advantage that you can easily get on and off.

Before you board, you have of course read the manual and make sure you have taken the correct safety precautions (helmet, no loose clothing, etc.).

How do you get on and off a hoverboard?

Most accidents happen when getting on and off. The two foot pedals move independently of each other.

It is therefore important to master this technique before you start riding the hoverboard.

You can practice getting on by, for example, holding on to a chair or leaning against a wall.

When you place your foot on one of the rubber pads, the device can immediately respond.

If you put your right foot on the pedal, it is best to place your other foot on the left pad as soon as possible.

In addition, it can help to put your feet as close to the wheels as possible.

When you have put your first foot on the board, the motherboard will sense via sensors that someone is stepping on the board.

Immediately it will automatically balance itself. After the system has done this, place your other foot on the second plane.

Again, make sure that you put your foot neatly in the middle of the pedal.

For example, you have to stand on a hoverboard

The wider you place your feet, the easier it is to stay stable on the board.

It does not matter from which side you step on the board, because the motors work both ways.

When you put your feet straight, the sensors will not block the infrared light, causing the wheels to stand still.

If you want to stop driving, it is therefore important to stand up completely. Getting off also requires some practice.

When you're ready, turn on the hoverboard. You place the board on a flat surface and you place one foot on the pedal.

Make sure to place your foot correctly, centered on the pedal and not on the inside of the board.

How do you balance on a hoverboard?

Now that we've highlighted some of the key parts of the hoverboard, let's take a look at how the device works.

There are switches under the pressure plates of the hoverboard; both at the front and back.

When the switches are pressed, a kind of 'wall' is placed between the sensors and the infrared light.

The sensors then no longer receive light and pass this information on to the motherboard.

When you are standing with both feet upright on the balancing board, nothing happens. The switches are not pressed.

As soon as you lean forward or backward, the light is blocked. The motherboard receives a signal from the sensors, which sets the wheels in motion.

The switches are therefore indirectly connected to the wheels. If you activate the switch on the left front, the left wheel will turn forward, you will then turn right.

Using sensors, the gyroscopes can measure how far you lean forward or backward.

When you lean far forward, the wheels have to turn faster to make sure you maintain your balance.

Your speed is therefore determined by your weight and how far you lean forward or backward.

Once you are on the board it is important that you do not make sudden movements.

The hoverboard responds to a change in your balance. Below you can clearly see what happens when you lean back and forth.

Make sure your legs are in a relaxed position with the knees bent very slightly. This will allow you to keep a much better balance.

Lean forward and backward on the Denver DBO-6520 hoverboard

If you lean back, the hoverboard will move backwards.

When you lean forward, you go forward and if you are positioned above the center of the board, you remain in the same position.

It is also important that you only shift your weight and not at all times shift your weight from left to right so that a wheel comes off the ground.

Tilt sideways on the Denver DBO-6520 hoverboard

How can you make turns with your hoverboard?

If you want to make a turn with your board, reduce your speed first. If you want to make a turn to the right, you apply more pressure with your left foot.

You tilt your left foot inwards, as it were.

As a result, the sensors in the board sense that the weight is moving, so that you will make a turn.

But it is also possible that the board becomes unbalanced with use. You then have to recalibrate the board. This is an easy task at the Denver.

Calibrating your hoverboard

You find yourself needing to recalibrate your hoverboard if it pulls too much left or right.

Calibrating your hoverboard is a piece of cake. Read more about it here calibrating hoverboards.

Maintenance of your hoverboard

Maintaining the hoverboard is quite easy. It is important that you charge the battery correctly, as described above.

And when charging is complete, make sure you both unplug the adapter and unplug the board from the power supply.

Keep the hoverboard clean and dry

In addition to keeping your battery good, keeping it clean and dry is also important.

As you have already read, the Denver hoverboard model is not suitable for riding in water.

But even though you charge the battery properly and you don't drive through water, your hoverboard can get dirty. It is sufficient to clean your hoverboard with a soft cloth.

Is a hoverboard safe?

The mini segways are very popular with children and young people. They are therefore often received enthusiastically as a birthday, Christmas or Sinterklaas gift.

However, before the child takes his / her first ride on the hoverboard, it is important to be aware of the rules for riding this board.

How do you ensure that a ride with the airboard is as safe as possible?

To use a hoverboard safely, it is important to observe the following:

  • Take time to learn
  • Provide adequate protection
  • Buy your hoverboard from a reliable supplier

Take your time!

If we can believe different YouTube videos, the use of a hoverboard is quite a challenge.

Especially adults who think they can step on the device without practice are the subject of many a blooper reel.

Before you actually start riding the hoverboard, it is important to practice well. It may take a while to find your balance.

As mentioned before, it can be quite a challenge to master getting on and off.

In the Netherlands, it is prohibited to use a hoverboard on public roads.

Since the device contains a motor, it could be seen as a 'motorized two-wheeler'.

However, the hoverboard does not include a steering wheel or seat, so it doesn't fall into the 'approved vehicles' category.

The vertical skateboard may therefore only be used at home or on private property.

Should you wear a helmet on a hoverboard?

In 2016, some 1.300 hoverboard users were injured.

The accidents mainly happened when they used the motor skateboard for the first time.

It is therefore recommended to wear both wrist and elbow protection. A helmet is also not an unnecessary luxury.

In many cases, a hoverboard supplier can help you advise the right protection.

Choose the right store

There are many stores where you can buy a hoverboard.

To be sure that you will use this balancing board with sufficient knowledge, it is wise to seek advice.

The shops that understand the business know the risks of driving a hoverboard.

They can also give tips on what the right device is for you (or your child).

With a hoverboard from a reliable brand, the chance that the battery will ever catch fire is small; as was the case with the cheap Li-ion batteries from China.

Insurance

The risk of damage is always present when you or your child is driving this 'floating skateboard'. Yet in many cases you are not insured against the damage caused.

This is because a hoverboard is not seen as a toy and is also rejected as a motor vehicle.

It does not therefore fall into a category, so in most cases you are not entitled to liability insurance.

How much does a hoverboard cost?

It might be tempting to buy a hoverboard for as little money as possible; the gadgets can be quite expensive.

Still, a quality board is well worth the investment.

The cheaper motor skateboards often contain a replica battery or a frame that has already suffered visible damage after a single ride.

For long-term and safe use, it is best to choose a reliable brand of hoverboard, such as the hoverboard from the Dutch SwheelS.

The warranty is also an important point of attention when purchasing this vehicle.

You can expect from a good supplier that you get at least one year manufacturer's warranty on the factory parts of your hoverboard.

What to do in case of a defect?

Most hoverboards almost all have a two-year manufacturer's warranty. However, this does not always include all parts.

A defect can also occur outside the manufacturer's warranty, for example after a crash. Fortunately, there are methods on which you can repair your hoverboard yourself.

This can save you a lot of money!

What is the difference between a hoverboard and an oxboard?

In addition, this ultimate gadget for young people is also known as a mini segway, airboard or oxboard. However, the correct name is hoverboard and Oxboard is just one of the brands, although well known, that produces hoverboards.

It is another electronic tool that the children can use outside for once, instead of indoors all day on the console or a child's tablet.

Repair or replacement

Have you calibrated your balance board several times without success? Then there are several options. Maybe there is a part that needs to be replaced.

In that case you can choose to send the mini segway for repair.

There are several companies that offer a repair service, even if you did not buy the hoverboard from this company.

In addition, it is sometimes possible to replace a part yourself.

Does your battery need to be replaced or are you looking for a new cover? These parts can often be found online, with the necessary repair advice.

The tires of a hoverboard are also easy to change. In this case, make sure that you purchase the products that fit the model you have in your possession.

You can of course also prevent as much damage as possible, for example by providing the hoverboard with rubber protection.

Due to these bumpers, the device is less likely to be damaged. A good quality protective cover can also prevent the necessary scratches.

In addition, it is important to check the wheels regularly and to prevent water damage as much as possible.

It is therefore not recommended to drive in the rain.

The hoverboard in motion

Frequently asked questions about using hoverboards

How can you best protect your hoverboard?

The best measure you can take to prevent your beloved hoverboard from breaking is to use protective covers. With a cover you protect the hoverboard against damage such as scratches and dents. In the event of falls and collisions, the protective cover partially absorbs the blow, thus significantly reducing the risk of a defect.

What does a hoverboard look like when charging?

You need to make sure the hoverboard is properly connected to the charger port. Then the color should be solid red. Then when the hoverboard charging is complete, the charger will turn green.

What happens if you overcharge a hoverboard?

The battery may overcharge. Overcharging your hoverboard battery can cause it to explode, burst, overheat or even catch fire. Also, if your hoverboard battery is damaged or punctured, the battery may overheat, catch fire or explode while charging.

How long do hoverboard batteries last?

The maximum duration of a hoverboard battery is 3 to 4 hours and you can travel 25 miles per hour on it. Since these self-balancing scooters run on batteries, it is essential that you ensure that you spend as little time as possible energy wasted, to extend battery life.

Does the hoverboard have to be on while charging?

No, whenever you charge your hoverboard it should be OFF.

Can my hoverboard explode?

When hoverboards catch fire, it is due to an exploded battery. A battery that conforms to UL standards cannot explode.

How fast do hoverboards go?

The average hoverboard has a top speed of about six to eight miles per hour. All-terrain styles with bigger tires and bigger engines tend to be faster, with top speeds over ten miles per hour

Can I leave my hoverboard plugged in overnight?

It is safe to leave them plugged in overnight as the batteries are not at risk of catching fire. Some hoverboards, such as the Swagtron and Hoverzon models, even include a fireproof battery holder, which protects you from all risks.

How dangerous is a hoverboard?

Shortly after their debut, several manufacturers started selling hoverboards that were not checked for quality or safety. News reports revealed potential dangers from hoverboards. They spontaneously overheated, could catch fire and cause burns.

How many hoverboards have exploded?

By July 2016, the Consumer Product Safety Commission had registered 99 reports of hoverboards sparking or catching fire. Issued a recall of more than 500.000 hoverboards from various manufacturers.

Will Hoverboards still explode or catch fire in 2020?

New hoverboards with UL 2272 certification are fireproof – just as safe as any other product you have in your home that has a lithium battery, e.g. your laptop or smart phone. So they are no longer a fire hazard. Of course, for optimal protection, you should still follow the manufacturer's safety guidelines.

Can you lose weight by riding a hoverboard?

Scientific research shows that a 30-minute ride can burn up to 300 calories, which is the same total number of calories burned in a 15-minute marathon run.

What age is right for a hoverboard?

Usually that's about six years and older, although some four-year-olds can already hoverboard. Hoverboard manufacturers recommend that at least 6 years or older.

History of hoverboards

The term hoverboard became popular with the cult film Back to the Future II, in which the main character races through the air on a floating skateboard.

However, today's two-wheeled boards just hit the ground, despite their name being derived from the English word for hover.

In 2012, the first hoverboard was invented by Shane Chen.

However, the inventor made little money from it, because variants were soon made in China that were a lot cheaper.

The hoverboard only really became popular when celebrities were spotted with it.

 

Always something to do for the holidays or rainy day?

Play Choice now has the ultimate activity book collection, with over 60 pages of fun coloring pages and educational puzzles.

Joost Nusselder, the founder of Speelkeuze.nl is a content marketer, father and loves trying out new toys. As a child he came into contact with everything related to games when his mother started the Tinnen Soldaat in Ede. Now he and his team create helpful blog articles to help loyal readers with fun play ideas.