It’s expected to cost a staggering $US20,000 ($27,701) if it ever goes into production, and its battery can only power the device’s 36 fans for about six minutes. But unlike all the other hoverboards grabbing the media’s attention these days, Arca Space’s hoverboard actually hovers.
The private space company — one of the 26 teams that competed for the Ansari X Prize back in 2004 — isn’t exactly a household name. But a video it posted to its YouTube channel this morning showing off the company’s functional ArcaBoard hoverboard could soon change that.
Instead of somehow cheating physics and gravity using a clever scientific breakthrough, the ArcaBoard takes the brute force approach to lifting the platform and a rider almost a foot off the ground using 36 electric fans to generating 195kg of thrust.
That’s why the ride time is currently so abysmal. The 272 horsepower generated by those 36 fans chews through a lot of power, and you can only pack so many batteries in there before the ArcaBoard platform gets too heavy to lift itself, never mind a passenger.
If and when the ArcaBoard does ship next April it will undoubtedly be a toy for the super-rich, those who don’t mind risking life and limb for a six-minute thrill, and die-hard Back to the Future 2 fans. But without a doubt it will be the first working hoverboard you can actually buy that can be ridden almost anywhere (except on water, of course) which admittedly, is pretty cool. [Arca Space via The Verge]