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How a Hoverboard Works | all the details about your hoverboard!

by Joost Nusselder | Updated on:  June 27, 2022

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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.

There is no doubt that a hoverboard is fun! More and more people are interested in it and decide to buy one.

But how exactly does such a hoverboard work? time for your hoverboard to analyze in detail!

Here we discuss exactly how a hoverboard works and dive into all the different topics: from the parts and different components to how they move and balancing them.

Also read our post about the best rated Hoverboards.

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Fun play tips, activity books and more, with the first email being our free mini-guide "educational toys"

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How do hoverboards move?

When it comes to learning about how hoverboards work, there are several things you need to learn about this process before you understand exactly how they move.

Which parts does a Hoverboard have?

Let's start with the parts in a hoverboard:

There are several components that hoverboards come equipped with, all of which are part of how it works. These components include:

  • Pressure pads
  • LED lights
  • Charging port
  • Accu
  • Power switch
  • Two infrared sensors
  • Control board
  • Two gyroscopes
  • Steel frame
  • Central pivot
  • Two electric motors (within the wheels)
  • Two tilt / speed sensors (inside the wheels)
  • A plastic shell

All these components work together to make the hoverboard work. Each part plays a big part in how a hoverboard can glide around effortlessly.

bestelectrichoverboard.com has this awesome gif image of the inside of a Hoverboard so you can see all the components:

How does a hoverboard move?

The wheel sensor

The wheels of the hoverboard house the electric motors themselves. They also include a tilt and speed sensor. This detects the speed (revolutions per minute) of the individual wheel and sends it to the gyroscope and speed control boards, located in the main housing, right next to the wheels.

Gyroscope / speed signs

One of the most important features of a hoverboard is the gyroscopes. Each hoverboard has two gyroscopes from which it receives tilt and acceleration information. This is part of the data that is sent to the motherboard and processed.

The gyroscope and speed control boards receive the rpm and tilt information from the sensor in the wheels and in turn send it to the main circuit board.

When you calibrate your board, the gyroscopes are effectively "zeroed", as in, you tell the gyroscopes, "this is flat, hence this is when the hoverboard tilt is at 0".

Lees meer: are hoverboards safe?

The main control board

The control board is the "brain" of your hoverboard and there the processor calculates the status of the board in real time, the speed at which you travel and the relative speed and tilt of the individual wheels (because, for example, when you turn the two wheels, they have opposite tilted slopes and thus opposite rpm and motion).

It also controls the board's power management and whether you are in “beginner mode” (which limits the board's maximum speed) or if the scooter is “locked”.

Read here what the best hoverboards of the moment are

The battery pack or accumulator

The battery pack ensures that your board continues to work. There are several packs out there, but the vast majority of them are 36V 4400mAH batteries. Sometimes manufacturers can make a hoverboard cheap by using smaller capacity batteries.

Hoverboard battery packs keep everything powered. Without the hoverboard battery pack, it wouldn't be able to operate, balance, or move forward and backward.

How does a Hoverboard detect your movement?

This is arguably the smartest part of the board: the pressure pads sit on two switches each.

Hoverboard pressure switches

When you lean forward, the switch on the front is pushed down and a small plastic “wall” slides in between an infrared LED and an infrared sensor.

Pressure pads are the area on top of a hoverboard where people place their feet. Most people are intimidated by this and seem to think there are underlying complex parts.

This is not necessarily true!

There are two different rubber parts under the pressure pads. These work together with the gyroscopes as switches. When you step on a hoverboard, it pushes the pads into two rubber triggers, breaking an infrared LED sensor, just like when you're running out of garage. This infrared sensor then tells the motherboard that a rider is on and starts balancing.

Once the infrared light is interrupted, the brushless motors get to work, moving you forward and backward. It's a very straightforward process to understand once you get the hang of it.

Also read: how do I calibrate my Hoverboard?

Hoverboard Infrared sensor

As long as the sensor detects the light, the PCB “tells” the motors to be silent. But when the light is interrupted (because the switch is pressed by your weight), the sign tells the motor to turn in a certain direction.

So, for example, if you turn left, your foot activates the front right switch, causing the right wheel to rotate forward, while your left foot activates the switch counterclockwise, causing the left wheel to rotate backward. It's very smart.

How do you ride the hoverboard?

The inclination sensors in the wheels tell the gyroscopes how far you are leaning forward. The gyroscopes transmit this information to the printed circuit board.

The more you lean forward, the faster the control board spins the motors, to catch up a bit with your center of gravity. It is this simple (yet very clever) mechanism that allows you to control the cruising speed of the scooter with your weight.

Also read: tips for riding your Hoverboard

Wheels / motors

Each hoverboard has two wheels. There is an electric motor in each wheel. This is also the location of the speed sensor. The RPM of each individual wheel is detected and then sent back to the control board.

The motherboard, also known as a logic board or control board, then detects the current speed and tilt signals from the gyroscope.

Motherboard

After the information is sent to the motherboard (shown above), the data is processed. Information such as RPMs, speed and tilt information are all processed at lightning speed.

Once all this data has been processed, the motherboard sends a signal back to the motors to perform a specific action, based on the millions of data bytes processed per second.

All of these sensors in your board relay information to the motherboard, or 'brain', of your hoverboard. It will then tell the "brain" of the board exactly how you are standing on it and which direction it is that you are leaning.

Every move you make, and every direction you lean, indicates how fast your hoverboard will go. Therefore, although a hoverboard has many components, the easiest way to explain how a hoverboard works is that it mainly relies on your weight distribution to make it function.

External control (bonus feature!): Remote controls

Some hoverboards include a remote control. What does the remote control do? It gives you the option to lock the hoverboard when not in use. Besides, the remote control can put your hoverboard in different modes such as beginner mode.

Also read: this is the fastest hoverboard for your money

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.