hoverboard

What is a hoverboard?

hoverboardOne of the most popular gifts this year is the so called hoverboard. Web shops such as Ebay and Amazon have a hard time keeping up with the high demand of this product. Although the product is very popular all around the world, its legality and safety are disputed. This article will not only explore what a hoverboard is, but will also address the disadvantages and the advantages of the product.

Hoverboard

A hoverboard is also known to be a self-balancing scooter or a self-balancing two-wheeled board. The hoverboard can be considered to be a rechargeable and portable scooter. The product consists of two wheels arranged side-by-side. The wheels are kept together by small platform on which the rider stands. The hoverboard is controlled by the body of the rider, and particularly by the rider’s feet. The platform has pads on which the rider places its feet. The pads are sensored and control the movement of the hoverboard. The product has especially become popular in 2014. In 2014 the hoverboards appeared in China and shortly became popular all over the world. The trend started in the United Stated and by 2015 the product was available on a global scale. Many celebrities have appeared with the device and thereby contributed to the popularity of the product. While most people refer to the product as hoverboard, there is no universal name for the product. This is dependent on the name given to the product by the distributers and manufacturers.

Use of hoverboard

While we have explored the different components of the hoverboard above, this paragraph will exactly outline how a hoverboard is used and which components serve which purpose. The hoverboards have a few components. The large batteries of the hoverboard make sure that the device is continuously fueled so it can be used by the rider. The microprocessors serve to manage the power output to the motors. Moreover, the motors of the hoverboard keep it balanced and assure that the product moves forward. Furthermore, the gyroscope determines the balance or pitch of the device. One of the most important things of controlling the self-balancing scooter is to remain upright. The microprocessors of the hoverboard recognize the position of your body and monitor the direction of the hoverboard dependent on how far the rider is leaning forward. The component called the gyroroscope, which is connected to the microprocessors, contributes to the gathering of information about the tilt of the board. The motor of the hoverboard automatically changes the power output which keep the rider balanced on the hoverboard. While most hoverboards function as described above, there might be slight differences between the hoverboards depending on the manufacturer.

History

The company Patmont Motor Werks was the first to register the trademark ‘Hoverboard’ as being an electrically powered two-wheeled scooter for the use of terrestrial human transportation. Patmont Motor Werks renewed their patent in 2009. However, there has been a dispute regarding this patent. An American businessman who is the founder of one of the hoverboard companies has made an early claim of inventing the product. The businessman voiced his frustrations with regard to patent rights in China. He claims that his self-balancing scooter was copied by other manufacturers after it had appeared on a Chinese television show. Since the start of the patent discussion, multiple companies have claimed to hold patents and have the exclusive rights to sell self-balancing scooters in the United States. Moreover, since the high demand for the hoverboards it has been difficult to pinpoint which Chinese or American company was the first to manufacture the device.


Legality

Ever since the introduction of hoverboards, legal restrictions on the use of the device have been imposed throughout the world. In New York City the hoverboard is banned under current existing legislation. In Califoria, a speed limit has been introduced for the hoverboards. Moreover, the devices are only allowed to be used on bike lanes with low speed limits and require the rider to wear a helmet at all times. Also, people younger than 16 years old are not allowed to ride a hoverboard in public. In Mecca, Saudi Arabia, the hoverboard was banned after a pilgrim used the device to get around. A video of the rider was posted on social media and caused a discussion about the use of the hoverboard. The discussion eventually led to the ban of the product in Mecca. Restrictions on the use of the product have also been introduced in Europe. In the Netherlands and in Germany, for example, people are not allowed to ride a hoverboard on public streets. Also, in the United Kingdom the use of the hoverboard is only allowed on private property and only with the permission of the landowner. In Canada, the law prohibits the use of motorized vehicles on sidewalks. The only people who are allowed to use mobility scooters are people who cannot get around without them. In Hong Kong, the hoverboard is classified as being a motor vehicle. This implies that it could pose a danger to the rider himself and other road users. The Hong Kong Transport Department has therefore banned the use of hoverboards on roads. Many airlines have also prohibited the transportation of the device due to safety concerns. The next paragraph will address the safety requirements of the device.

Safety

There have been multiple instances of hoverboards exploding. In most of the cases, a hoverboard explodes due to the fact that it is delivered with a faulty battery. There is often also a big price difference between the hoverboards. The price is not only dependent on the quality of the device, but is also dependent on the place where it is produced. Amazon has recently announced that it would ban several popular hoverboard models due to safety concerns. These models would often cost between 300 to 700 dollars, while a better quality hoverboard could cost up to 1500 dollars.

Research on safety

Different researches have been conducted to test the quality of the hoverboards. One of the researchers found that factories in China often quickly follow the consumer trends and cannot keep up with the high demand of the product. Chinese factories therefore often produce devices without much quality control. This implies that the hoverboards that are being produced by Chinese companies have a higher chance of causing serious injury to the rider or his environment. While a hoverboard is not the only electronic product which is considered to be dangerous, the powerful batteries of the device have the power of actually burning down a house.





                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

Article written by: SarahAjaoud
Times read: 1867x
Added: 10-06-2016 01:44
Last modified: 13-06-2016 22:54

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