We are Greg and Jill Henderson and the team of engineers behind the Hendo Hoverboard! We would love to hear your questions about the hoverboard, how the technology could impact the future and anything else!

If you haven’t already, please check out our Kickstarter campaign and show us some love: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/142464853/hendo-hoverboards-worlds-first-real-hoverboard

(we also have our friend Amanda here to type our responses for us)

proof: https://twitter.com/HendoHover/status/525752486917701632

Thank you for joining us today for our AMA. It was so much fun to chat with all of you and hopefully you guys were inspired as much as we were. Great questions. Reddit rocks!

Comments: 115 • Responses: 37  • Date: 

suaveitguy21 karma

Can I buy some stocks in your company?

Hendohoverboard12 karma

We're flattered! We'll keep you posted.

_vargas_15 karma

Any plans to develop a version for dogs who also happen to be amputees?

Hendohoverboard7 karma

Interesting question: we've yet to convince our office dog, Tippi, to ride the board (although she loves frolicking on the half pipe). We love to build things to help solve problems and help; almost anything is possible!

_vargas_8 karma

Thanks! Hopefully, my doggy will never need it.

Hendohoverboard2 karma

We hope not too!

Drunken_Economist14 karma

Obviously there is a lot of technical and scale problems to get past first, but in a dream world, how much do you think an hour of hoverboard rental in the park should cost?

Hendohoverboard12 karma

It'd be nice if it was on par with other hardware sports like go-karting, but it will likely start out higher until we're able to bring the costs down.

forever_a10ne10 karma

Amazing product. I dreamed of a day this kind of technology might be invented. Two questions that will clear a lot of for me:

  1. Does it work on every surface?

  2. Does it function like a real skateboard in terms of speed (could I do a kickflip with it if I got enough speed)?

Hendohoverboard17 karma

  1. No, it doesn't work on every surface, but there are lots that it will work on. It's just a matter of efficiency.

  2. Pretty hard to kickflip an 80+ pound board, but we'll work on it! We've had a few skaters in, and when it comes to tricks, the hoverboard is a whole new beast. That said, shove-its are a current favorite. We've also accomplished many a 900 (and then some).

ProfessionalLion8 karma

You use a copper surface in the demo, right? What other surfaces can/could potentially work on? Will it ever work on, let's say, regular pavement?

RamsesThePigeon10 karma


Hendohoverboard10 karma

The basketball court paved with gold would work. Are you going to work on that? ;)

RamsesThePigeon24 karma


Hendohoverboard7 karma

I'd buy that t-shirt.

In_your_inbox9 karma

If I put this on my hand can I push things away like the force?

Hendohoverboard11 karma

If the things you want to push away are conductive and diamagnetic, sure could!

suaveitguy8 karma

How much of an influence was Back to the Future 2, and that Robert Zemeckis interview that got us all excited at the time where he said it already existed? Did you see it at the time?

Hendohoverboard8 karma

1989 was a big year and a big influence. It wasn't just Back to the Future 2, it was the Loma Prieta earthquake, which is what started the search for ways to build better. The technology we used to build our hoverboard is something we want to develop into earthquake proof foundations. It was only recently that I saw the Robert Zemeckis interview.

Acetone647 karma

I'm going as Marty Mcfly for Halloween this year, there's not a chance you can send me one? Just for the sake of accuracy haha

Hendohoverboard10 karma

Great question. Love the sentiment! Check back with us next Halloween when we are in full production.

escherbach7 karma

You made it to the front page of the BBC (snapshot)! Is this a serious commercial product - it seems to have very restricted use?

Hendohoverboard5 karma

The hoverboard itself might be viewed as having limitations, but we're looking at utilizing the core technology of it lots of other applications.

suaveitguy4 karma

Any thoughts on the Oculus Rift blowback from the kickstarter funders when it sold a year later? What's your plans for the future?

Hendohoverboard5 karma

Our plans for the future start with putting this technology directly in your hands with the developer kits.

We want you to help us solve the problems we do not know exist and to help us solve the problems we already know about like...

the last mile challenge of mass transportation factory automation maglev assisted take off the space elevator

dillybags3 karma

Have you thought of using the technology for warehouse trolleys? All I can think when I see the device is that episode of Futurama. The one where they have that Hover trolley for carrying pillows on the super gravity planet.

Are there any other applications you're looking to use the technology for? What's the future development roadmap look like?

Hendohoverboard8 karma

Warehouses are absolutely an area where we envision this technology being useful. Factory floors too. Imagine being able to assemble a piece of high value equipment on a special hover pallet, and then use that pallet to move that equipment around the space. Then imagine being able to activate that hovering pallet via the early warning system in the event of an earthquake.

newgenome3 karma

How much power does it require per unit weight and what is the maximum speed?

Also, I estimate the power requirement for your board to be in the 2 KW neighborhood based on your battery pack size and run time, is this correct?

Hendohoverboard8 karma

We're operating around 40 watts per kg. We've not been able to verify our max speed yet as our test area isn't large enough (it's going to be fast). Our current hoverboard run time is about 7 minutes with a single rider, we leave the math to you.

suaveitguy3 karma

How much weight can it hold? Are a Hover-car or hover-shoes possible with your design? If not, why not?

Hendohoverboard11 karma

Anything is possible. We have prototypes that can hold up to 500 pounds. Jill is looking forward to Hover-shoes the most. Our goal is to hover building though.

Hendohoverboard7 karma

By the way, imagine being able to reconfigure groups of building. Or being able to move a building to follow the sun for more efficient passive cooling and heating. Apple's new spaceship headquarters is a perfect candidate. If you're interested in this, let us know and we can send you more information.

suaveitguy4 karma

Or shipping containers or vehicles that can be moved by individuals for more efficient storage, without heavy machines... sounds amazing. I wonder what the other applications are for agriculture and food shipping, with 50% being lost due to rotting or just spilling. Greenhouses that turn to face the sun though. Very exciting.

Hendohoverboard8 karma

Exactly. Right on. Great thinking.

nyan_swanson2 karma

Have you seen this video? Just a couple months ago, this was a lighthearted joke. But now, you are making it a reality. How does it feel to be creating one of the dream technologies that was once just a part of sci-fi pipe dreams?

Hendohoverboard4 karma

It's pretty sweet. We were already testing our prototype hoverboard at that point, so it was crazy (and a little scary) to see the spoof video hit.

beernerd2 karma

What sort of things are you most looking forward to being created with the dev kits you guys are offering?

Hendohoverboard2 karma

Fantastic questions. That is what this is all about. We want to see the idea that no one here has ever thought of. Really, we're calling all curious minds! About the dev kits, you can expect an informative video from one of our engineers, Kyle, in the coming days on our Kickstarter page.

a_carnivorous_ocean2 karma

This is amazing work, guys!

I'm curious about the material on the ground/panels. Do you think sidewalks could be paved with it someday?

Hendohoverboard3 karma

Absolutely! But beyond that, there's already IP (intellectual property) for things like conductive concrete. Just for fun you should Google: graphene. This stuff is (in our humble opinion) the coolest stuff ever.

Frajer2 karma

are there any risks involved with having a hoverboard?

Hendohoverboard4 karma

There's always a risk in any sport, especially with something new like a hoverboard. We plan to create both black-diamond and green-circle boards.

Drunken_Economist2 karma

What would be the difference? I'd imagine that they'd move at the same speed, right?

Hendohoverboard4 karma

Not necessarily. With propulsion and control we can create a vehicle that can accelerate quickly and move at faster speeds, or have a version that travels in a more sedate and leisurely fashion.

Ebriate2 karma

How are you going to be able to steer it?

Hendohoverboard3 karma

We already have the capability to alter the magnetic field architecture to generate propulsion and have control and stability. One of our current prototypes, the Manta Ray, demonstrates this. It is our intention to incorporate this capability into our production hoverboards. We are also releasing an enhanced version of our WhiteBox dev kit, the WhiteBox+ through our Kickstarter campaign that will have these propulsion and control abilities.

purplepooters2 karma

What was your inspiration?

Hendohoverboard5 karma

When you come up with an idea and you realize how it can be done THAT'S powerful. When inspiration hits, grab it by the <insert word here> and ride it like a rented mule (no offense to mule lovers. Go Army!).

purplepooters0 karma

will it have anti-twitch technology?

Hendohoverboard3 karma

we're working on it

Alpha17x2 karma

Are you targeting amusement centers, since it only works on copper? Awesome stuff. I hope to try it someday.

Hendohoverboard1 karma

We are definitely targeting amusement centers, but is also works on materials other than copper. Aluminum is another readily sourced material that can be used.

robotguy41 karma

Does it work upside down?

As in, can you suspend from the ceiling?

Hendohoverboard4 karma

We love questions like this because it makes think. Is it? We'll get back to you.

suaveitguy1 karma

How high does it lift?

Hendohoverboard5 karma

The current hoverboard prototype has 1" of lift. Future version will have more (we're building one right now!).

Stuifiee1 karma

What has been the hardest part of the development process so far? And what was the most enjoyable one?

Hendohoverboard4 karma

We have figured out a lot of ways how not to hover. When we tested our first working prototype, that was spectacular. Even better, was when Jill became the world's first hoverboard rider. It was really, sincerely, amazing.

minecraftfanfiction1 karma

When will it be released to the public? Also will it come out before 2015 of back to the futhre?

Hendohoverboard2 karma

Our dev kits are coming out before the hoverboard. Yes, we'll make it in time for Marty McFly's arrival in 2015. But we have plans for stretch goals to release some other hover technology soon.

suaveitguy1 karma

What inventors do you look up to? Are their modern day Edisons (in the bad sense- strongarming competitors, buying/taking ideas to build a giant empire)?

Hendohoverboard2 karma

This is Greg responding here -- Leonardo da Vinci. It goes all the way back to Archimedes. Nikola Tesla rocked!

old_man19871 karma

Have you prepared for a lot of potential lawsuits?I imagine a lot of people are gonna get hurt.

Hendohoverboard1 karma

You're right, just like any sport, there's risk.

suaveitguy1 karma

Do you think apps/software have distracted a lot of bright designers from physical things? An innovative project that is physical, and groundbreaking like this, seems so much rarer. It used to be the only type of thing inventors worked on.

Hendohoverboard5 karma

Hardware and software go best together. The sum is greater than the parts. It is refreshing, though, to be able to talk about and work on a hardware product.

Drunken_Economist2 karma

You guys definitely need to make a hoverboard iPhone/Android game for marketing

Hendohoverboard2 karma

Awesome idea! We're on it. Keep the ideas coming.

Drunken_Economist11 karma

You see, it would be this mat that you would put on the floor... and would have different CONCLUSIONS written on it that you could JUMP TO.

Hendohoverboard11 karma

That's the worst idea I've ever heard in my life, Tom. (and careful backing out of your garage)

EpicTaco99010 karma

Any plans to put this on cars, or hover shoes? How about a hover office chair?

Hendohoverboard1 karma

Anything is possible. We have prototypes that can hold up to 500 pounds. Jill is looking forward to Hover-shoes the most. Our goal is to hover building though.

MR_RC-1 karma

How many years do you think until it's a fully operational hover board like from back to the future. Also how do you guys get funding? Have you done like a kick starter?

Hendohoverboard1 karma

However long it would've, it's going to be a lot sooner with the technology in everyone's hands. This is why we're offering dev kits as one of the rewards on our Kickstarter (www.hendohover.com/ks), which is currently has 51 days to go. Thank you to all our backers!