The Lexus Hoverboard

Call for hoverboard park

A CALL has been made for a hoverboard park in Castlebar following the release of footage by Lexus of a board in action.

Tate Levin, who hopes to run as an independent candidate in the next general election, said such a move in the county town would signal that Mayo is at the forefront of technological innovation and also demonstrate that the recession is well and truly at an end.

“We need something to make Castlebar stand out and I believe a hoverboard park could be it,” said Mr. Levin. “There would be an element of cost involved but I firmly believe we could recoup that cost with the amount of people it would bring to the town, which is in need of a tourism boost.”

Lexus unveiled its hoverboard in June and now has released footage of pro skateboarder Ross McGouran test riding the device. “I've spent 20 years skateboarding, but without friction it feels like I've had to learn a whole new skill, particularly in the stance and balance in order to ride the hoverboard. It's a whole new experience,” said McGouran.

The Lexus hoverboard project began 18 months ago through a collaboration with a team of scientists from IFW Dresden and evico GmbH, who specialise in magnetic levitation technology. Following extensive testing with McGouran in Dresden, Germany, the team were determined to push the hoverboard to its limits and conduct further tests within dynamic surroundings.

Since the June unveiling, testing has been carried out in a specially constructed hoverpark that combines elements from skate culture with technology within its architecture. Up to 200 metres of magnetic track was transported to Barcelona from the Dresden facility to lay beneath the hoverpark surface in order to create the dynamic test, offering Lexus the opportunity to demonstrate tricks no skateboard could ever perform, like travelling across water.

Lexus has captured the following final ride footage and released it as a film, called Slide, led by award-winning director Henry-Alex Rubin.

 

The Lexus hoverboard features two 'cryostats', which are reservoirs in which superconducting material is kept at -197 degrees through immersion in liquid nitrogen. The board is then placed above a track that contains permanent magnets.

Dr. Oliver de Hass, evico CEO, said: “The magnetic field from the track is effectively ‘frozen’ into the superconductors in the board, maintaining the distance between the board and the track - essentially keeping the board hovering. This force is strong enough to allow the rider to stand and even jump on the board.”

Despite the obvious hurdle that the hoverboard remains a prototype and is not on sale, Mr. Levin believes the development of a covered hoverboard track would set Castlebar apart as a centre of technological innovation and bring hoverboard enthusiasts to the area, as it would likely be the only place in Ireland to have a track for the foreseeable future.

“It's a no-brainer really,” he said. “I know the product isn't yet commercially available but we can take the lead in this sphere and plan for the future. Castlebar and Mayo needs something to make it stand out and this could well be it.”

 

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