Flying Hoverboards Are Finally Real, And They're Going On Sale

Though you probably won't be flying to your local store on a hoverboard any time in the very near future.
Chris Young

Omni Hoverboards founder and CEO, Alexandru Duru, who holds the Guinness World Record for the longest flight on a hoverboard, revealed new information about his company's deceptively simple creation during an interview with DroneDJ. 

The hoverboard, which is not to be mistaken for the design by YouTuber and creator Hunter Kowald, consists of a frame with eight rotors and a simple hand throttle made out of modified pliers.

"It's pretty much all you need for the control," Duru told DroneDJ's Scott Simmie. "It's the thrust level."

Amazingly, this world-record-holding craft has no real flight controller, no automatic stabilization, and no gyroscope or accelerometer.

In lieu of a flight controller, the hoverboard uses an Arduino electronics platform to keep track of throttle inputs and communicate with the machine's electronic speed controllers (ESCs).

By contrast, Hunter Kowald says his piloted drone, or hoverboard, took "a global effort of custom part manufacturing" to make a reality.

"It's the simplest thing you can imagine," Duru said of his hoverboard in the interview with DroneDJ. "Really. It's your body that does the balance. Our brains can learn so many things, and it learns this as another skill. It's not even that difficult."

Also of note, Duru has plans to mass market the hoverboards in the coming years.

Alexandru Duru's hoverboard is not for going to the grocery store

In the roughly 30-minute interview, which can be viewed below, Duru discusses his Guinness World Record for the farthest flight on a hoverboard, set at 905.18 ft (275.9 m).

He also speaks about his goal to eventually release a commercial version of his hoverboard — Omni Hoverboards' website says "stay tuned for our customer version."

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Though Duru didn't reveal much detail on his plans for commercialization, he did say that his company's hoverboard "will turn into a product that's usable for real. Not just, you're looking at these guys with jetpacks, and thinking this is great, but this is crazy. I really think that here we have something that's not too crazy."

Of course, safety concerns are an issue, and Duru states that maybe the target market will only be trained pilots and people with aviation experience to begin with. He says that it's not a device anyone's going to be using to fly to the grocery store, instead the machine will be marketed as an extreme sports tool for any thrill-seekers out there looking to whizz through the air at tremendous speeds.

Have a look at the entire interview over at DroneDJ, and also take a look at Duru flying his hoverboard at the 2017 Taça de Portugal football cup final below.

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