Hoverbot – Spinning magnet inductive hovercraft
Hoverbot was part of a wider project to build a full size hoverboard.
Alas the full scale project ended up too big in terms of money and effort to ever complete, but the small scale hovering test vehicles were interesting in themselves
Rotors carrying neodymium magnets, spun by brushless motors, generate eddy currents in the aluminium sheet below that repel the magnets and cause the units to hover. This would work at full human carrying scale too (with about 10kW electrical system and £2000 worth of magnets) as the independently developed Hendo hoverboard demonstrated. Alas we ran out of impetus with the £3k total price tag and called it a day for the large system
The ESCs we used weren’t very good at maintaining speed under changing load, and one of the supposedly identical motors ran slower than the others, so we never got this controllable. In this tethered test, the near left blue rotor is clearly running lower despite the other motors being backed off to compensate. If this motor was better the ride height would definitely be improved. Who knows, we might go back to it one day with governor mode ESCs and better motors…