A Plethora of Sensors
These hoverboards come with multiple sensors to provide the best riding experience they – the average smart home device has nothing on one of these models. Let's break it down by sensor type to see what they do and how they all work together.
Wheel sensors: There are two tilt/speed sensors, one in each wheel. This allows the board to sense how each separate wheel is functioning , which is invaluable when calculating how fast the wheels should be moving when turning, etc.
Gyroscopes: The board also has two gyroscopes, which function independently from the tilt sensors. These gyroscopes help sense the angle of the board. If you've ever ridden one of these hoverboards, you know that overall tilt is vital for control the board's speed and balance. There's even a way to manually set the board's "flat" level for more accurate movement controls.
Infrared Sensors: These two sensors are located in the front of the board and are instrumental in detecting whether or not anyone is riding. We'll talk more about these sensors in a bit.
Yes, these hoverboards absolutely have an onboard computer. They need one to manage all that incoming data from multiple sensors. The computer's job is to take all that sensor data and ultimately say, "Okay, we need this wheel to go this fast, and this wheel to go this fast." These calculations are constantly being made and change based on how the board is tilting when someone is riding.
This computer system is particularly important because it's job is simulate the feeling that you really are "hovering" by making sure the board responds to your weight as if you were floating. Think of it as a floating algorithm, the heart of the hoverboard.
The wheel motors, sensors, LED lights, and computer system all need power to operate. Thus, the hoverboard includes a powerful rechargeable battery to power all this stuff. The specs and size of the battery can vary between models, but it usually sits opposite the computer system to help make sure both sides of the hoverboard have the same weight. Obviously, a fully charged battery is important to the overall function of the board.
The Pressure Pads
Now we come to the rider's role: There is a pressure pad at the center of the board, where the grip for your feet waits. When someone steps on the pads, they subtly activate those infrared sensors we mentioned, blocking off the infrared light, which sends a signal to the computer that someone is riding.
However, the interesting part is that there are at least two different sensors on the pressure pad, one for forward movement and one for backward movement. This allows the computer to know exactly which way the rider is tilting, even before the gyroscopes start to pick up the change. This allows for rapid motor changes and an overall smoother experience.
Put it all together, and that's how these hoverboards work! There will always be some difference in the experience based on the wheels being used and the surface that the board is on, but overall this combination of tech can create a pleasant hovering ride.
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