Of all the crazy technologies predicted by the 1989 movie “Back to the Future Part II”, none has stirred our imagination more than the Hoverboard, ridden by Marty McFly.
The board called SLIDE has been in development for 18 months, as Lexus alongside a team of scientists from IFW Dresden and evico GmbH have recently concluded a successful testing stage in Barcelona.
SLIDE is constructed from an insulated core, containing HTSLs (high temperature superconducting blocks). These are housed in cryostats – reservoirs of liquid nitrogen that cool the superconductors to -197°C. The board is then placed above a track containing permanent magnets. When the board is cooled to its operating temperature the track’s magnetic flux lines are ‘pinned’ into place, maintaining the hover height of the board.
After watching the teaser clips from Lexus a couple of weeks ago there was, however, a glimmer of hope, that Lexus has made the impossible, possible and built an actual Hoverboard.
We know now that this board comes closer to a PR stunt than a true innovativ product. You need a park with an embedded magnetic track to actually ride it. So the Lexus board can’t be used anywhere you want. But still… watching pro skateboarder Ross McGouran riding the SLIDE keeps our dreams alive.