With all the “hoverboards” that don’t hover being standard fare in the current news cycles, it’s refreshing to see news of an actual hoverboard. One that, you know, actually lifts off the ground. Called the ArcaBoard, it’s not just a real, functional hoverboard that can lift off any surface – it’s also going to ship by April of 2016 (hopefully not April 1st).
Made by Arca Space, it’s a hoverboard that operates the way we always imagined them to work – with thrusters that lift it off the ground and keep it in the air. Unlike the hoverboard of our fantasies, though, it’s massive, being closer in size to an oversized pillow (or even a small mattress) than a flying skateboard.
That’s right, instead of using mag-lev principles or applying a novel scientific concept, the ArcaBoard goes old school, using 36 high-power ducted fans that create a maximum thrust of 430 pounds (equivalent to 272 horsepower) to power its hovering capabilities. The fans are lined up on the two parallel sides of the board, with the center slot serving as compartment for the battery modules. Since powering 36 fans puts a heavy load on the battery, it’s only capable of running for six minutes at a time, with the accompanying ArcaDock charging it from empty to full in as little as 35 minutes, so you can get back in the air after just over half an hour of waiting.
It can hover to a maximum height of one foot and move at speeds of up to 12 mph, although we’re not entirely sure how to control its movements (they don’t show it in the video). Does it work? Looks like it. Is it the hoverboard we wanted? Probably not. Actually, definitely not, but it could be a fun toy for someone rich enough to not mind blowing $19,900 (plus $4,500 for the charging dock) on what’s, for all intents and purposes, a prototype device.