Tag: hoverboard

Hover boards: What they are and can you use them safely everywhere?

One of the most happening gadget among the youth is a Hoverboard. You can see people speaking about it, tweeting about it or even making a post on Facebook. It is getting popular by the day and there are many websites that claim to give away these hover boards. Some of these websites are scam in the making(hint:hoverboard 360), you can read hoverboard 360 review here. Firstly, let us look into this phenomenon called Hoverboard.

What are hover boards?

Marty MCFLY hovering on hoverboard on water

Any 80s kid might have known about the movie series called Back to the Future. It became a cult classic which ushered in many other Sci-Fi movies. The movie was instrumental in popularizing the word Hoverboard. It is a skate board like board which had a levitating technology.

It was the personal transport board for teenagers in the film’s future. However, the Hoverboard of the day is in no way close to a levitating device. In fact it is an ordinary wheeled scooter which has a gyroscopic mechanism. The gyroscopic mechanism balances the Hoverboard and keeps it upright. In actual sense, the Hoverboard of today is not a Hoverboard and it is a misnomer.

It is a self-powered gyroscopic controlled scooter. It has a self-containing battery pack which can be recharged. This Lithium ion battery powers the vehicle. The gyroscopic controller is controlled by microprocessors and simple mechanical contraptions. Now a days you can buy cheap hoverboards online from websites like Halo Board, Floating Board, Hoverboards.sale and many others.

The popularity of Hoverboard

The market for Hoverboard is constantly growing and it is making inroads into new markets. Some of the identifiable reasons for the rising popularity is the fact that these personal scooters are used by many celebrities. People in fashion and music industry have been spotted with these scooters and it started the craze for these hoverboards. Moreover, the name itself creates some interest in the product as it sounds cool to own a Hoverboard!

Are hover boards safe and can you use them everywhere?

Hover boards are safe in the concept and at the drawing board level. These are perfectly safe as they do not race at high speeds or levitate above the ground. They are relatively slow moving machines which can be controlled easily. So, they are perfectly safe for kids. However the in reality, the situation on the ground is that these hover boards have faced many questionable accidents. Moreover, there have been cases of explosion connected with the gadget! The batteries in the scooter are large Lithium ion batteries which might get heated up.

If either the battery or the cooling system is not properly designed, it might lead to leakage of the ions into the other chamber of the battery and cause sudden or rapid discharge of the battery which might result in a visible fire or explosion. It is unavoidable as the Hoverboard gets into impact with the ground and that the battery also gets damaged due to the design.

Other causes for the explosion is the fact that many companies that has manufacturing units in China, hurry up into production without proper testing and quality control of the products. Hence, for the moment these hover boards are not completely safe. These are time bombs ticking to explode. Make sure you buy UL2272 certified hoverboards only to stay safe.

Now, answering the second question is a bit hard. In many countries, there are no concrete laws dealing with these self-powered scooters. In many cities of United States of America it is illegal to use it in the public places as it might cause any mishap or accident. In United Kingdom, the law does not allow usage of any motorized vehicles in the pavement and it also forbids using any unregistered vehicles on the roads.

These hover boards are neither powered by humans nor are they registered with the transport authority. As, a result they cannot be used in public. The only viable way is to ride them within the confines of your personal and private place. So, the market for the hover boards will remain stagnant for some time to come as they are yet to prove their safety and usability in public areas.

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Why hoverboards explode and how to choose a safe hoverboard

The Self-Balancing Scooter, or more widely known as simply the hoverboard, has quickly become one of the most popular toy-gadgets for both kids and adults alike. It’s fun, promotes outdoor activities and is an excellent alternative for public transport in the city. However with hundreds of seemingly identical hoverboards for sale on the internet, how can we be sure that ours is indeed safe?

In this article I will explain why most hoverboards have exploded so far as well as share a couple of tips and tricks on how to avoid buying a potentially dangerous hoverboard for yourself or your family.

Why do so many hoverboards explode?

Why can a hoverboard explode Ever since hoverboards caught the attention of mainstream media, there have been countless of reports of hoverboards either exploding or catching fire.

While most of the time these faulty self balancing scooters have ended up causing just minor damage to people’s homes, there have been some, more extreme cases where people have gotten seriously hurt because of these expensive toys.

So what’s the deal? Why are these things so prone to spontaneously combust?

Short answer: It has to do with the Lithium-Ion battery packed inside.

A faulty battery

When a piece of technology becomes popular enough, other, smaller companies will eventually build cheaper knockoff versions of said product in order to make a quick profit from the hype.

However the lower price isn’t an act of kindness on their behalf. Nope! The low price comes from using lower quality parts within the gadget itself and the vast majority of exploding hoverboards have had a bad battery stuffed inside of them.

Battery Cathode Anode SeparatorHow Lithium-Ion batteries work?

Generally speaking, all Lithium-Ion batteries work the same way.

When you charge the battery, the positive electrode (cathode) gives up some of its Lithium Ions to the negative (anode) and when it’s discharging (when in use) the Ions move back to the positive electrode.

The ions move through the separator between a cathode and anode and its purpose is to keep the two electrodes apart to prevent electrical short circuits.

Low quality batteries can cause short circuits

In cheaper batteries the separator could be misaligned or it may have small micro holes due to the impurities of the materials and therefore electrical short circuits can occur.

When this happens a lot of heat is generated inside the battery cell which leads to electrolyte boiling, the rupture of the cell casing and eventually (surprise surprise) a fire.

How to avoid buying a bad hoverboard?

Unfortunately there is no sure way of telling whether a board will explode or not because you have to actually use the device for a little while in order to “wear out” the battery.

That said, there are still a couple of things you can consider:

  • It’s a good idea to choose a reputable manufacturer who isn’t trying to hide the source of their batteries.
  • Another recommendation is to avoid anything that costs less than at least a couple of hundred bucks.
  • While you don’t necessarily need the IO Hawk that goes for more than a thousand dollars (unless you’re a show-off), you should still avoid cheap Chinese replicas that sell for just $100 on ebay, for example.
  • From my own research I can say that $300-$500 seems to be a reasonable price range for a safe hoverboard scooter.

*HoverBoardScooters.net is a reputable source for various self balancing scooters and hoverboard accessories. Their office is located in California and you can ask for more information simply by dialing this number: (323) 617-3657

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