By Kevin Kim
“Back to the Future 2” made predictions on what the year 2015 would hold for us and many of them have come true. We now have 3D movies, drones, holographic displays, and video messaging like Skype and Facetime; however, one of the biggest inventions displayed in the movie that we do not have yet is the hoverboard, or hovering vehicles in general.
Many have attempted to make such products, and many fakes have been made, like the Swagways. The commercial markets are booming with these so-called “hoverboards” that ironically do not even hover. However, Ludwig Schultz, a German physicist, has recently found a way to make real hoverboards through magnetics. Although magnetics have been seen in other modes of transportation, such as in Japanese and Chinese magnetic train cars, Schultz’s method of implementing gases as the primary mode of magnetics instead of solid magnets has never been tried before. This breakthrough will propel today’s perception of travel into the future and create a world like the one seen in “The Jetsons.”
Creation of a real hoverboard is a challenge also being tackled by senior Meletis Mastrodemos. When asked about his motivation for making a hoverboard, Meletis said, “I walk to school, but I’m lazy, so I wanted to ride a hoverboard to school.”
While researching successful hoverboards, Meletis found some that could lug materials for construction work or hover boats over water. Unlike Schultz’s idea of magnetics, Meletis is trying to take a different approach to the idea by using air pressure to levitate the board. With the use of the “skirt,” a bag under the main board to serve as a levitating mechanism, he plans to pump high pressured air into it in the way leaf-blowers expel air. With this conception of the board, He wants to transfer these the ideas of hover boats into a board that levitates on land, making his dream of riding to school possible.
Seeing this development on a local and even global scale, the concept of a real hoverboard is now possible and may finally fulfill the predictions “Back to the Future 2.”
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