Either I have traveled through time or we have finally reached “the future”. For years people have watched future-themed TV shows and movies featuring hoverboards imagining, but never really believing, that one day these devices will be real. As hard as it is to believe, they have arrived. I was skeptical at first, but now that I know they really do exist, I have to know- how do they work? What does the future look like for this new technology now?
The idea behind these new gadgets is “magnetic levitation technology” which involves four flat circular engines called “hover engines” that use magnetic fields to hold the craft above ground. The board can carry a person and never touche the ground. This invention makes me extremely curious in the technology behind it, where it began and where it’s going. The ArxPax Company can explain a lot of where this technology started. The founder, and the man behind much of the science, is Greg Henderson. Greg Henderson was a an airborne ranger and has an engineering degree from West Point as well as a master’s degree from University of California, Berkley. Greg Henderson is the mind behind MFA- Magnetic Field Architecture. Henderson began developing this technology to solve issues with things such as clean water and air using magnetic levitation. What I find interesting about this technology is that while it seems more logical that very strong magnetic fields would be utilized during levitation, weak fields are aligned to do more work than stronger fields. The magnetic fields depend on whether the process is started with electromagnets or permanent magnets and the structure goes from there.
The first use is obviously the hoverboard which is rapidly becoming a craze. As far as what happens now, ArxPax has big plans for future uses. In one interview, Greg Henderson said “We approached this with a social goal in mind: to be able to protect equipment and structures from earthquakes, floods and rising sea levels”. The alarming method they plan to use is building levitation. They hope to levitate all kinds of buildings including hospitals and homes to avoid damage from natural disaster. In another report, Henderson says he even hopes for the technology to cost less due to eliminating use of some materials such as graphene.
While I have very little knowledge of interaction between magnetic fields, the technology seems to be a prospective new aspect of our construction. After seeing Tony Hawk do boarding tricks on this new, amazing toy, I am astonished by what I have found. These new boards that seem almost like toys are using science that could become an entirely new future for the way we construct our buildings and solve major issues.