Hummingbird – future hoverboard

Motivation for Project Direction:

I’ve had this recurring dream where I’d be running down a sidewalk, and after a couple seconds of picking up the pace, I’d start to take long strides increasing my airtime one after the other, eventually hovering while accelerating forward. I reach such immense speed that my surroundings look as if someone blurred paint onto my peripheral canvas. One of the most exhilarating feelings I’ve felt in and out of the physical world. I want to make this dream a reality.

What is Hummingbird?

A hoverboard that will be capable of gliding over any terrain while moving faster than average manually powered vehicles.

Users will hover with the intention of reducing friction, therefore decreasing possible muscle strains due to zero shock/impact from any obstructions in the ground, allowing for faster speeds and shortened travel times.

Goals for Hummingbird:

The goal is to transport people over short distances effectively, in a very stylish, futuristic and swift manner. The board’s materials are required to be lightweight, durable and sleek.

I want to create an effortless and relaxing sensation of fluid, air surfing over any terrain. I hope to evoke exhilaration along with serenity.

Product Criteria:

· Futuristic
· Elite
· Sleek
· Fast
· Aerodynamic
· Durable

Ideal hovering height is 1.5 ft off the ground, at a speed of 40km/h for safety and control.

How can we:

Retain strength, minimize weight, increase durability and improve aerodynamics while keeping the price of the product affordable with a luxurious aesthetic?

Material Exploration – Why Composites?

Composites are constructed extremely strong, lightweight and durable. Structural properties of composite materials are derived primarily from fiber reinforcement.

In a composite, the fiber, held together with the matrix resin, contributes high tensile strength, enhancing strength and stiffness, while minimizing weight.

User Experience

De-stress, temporarily escape reality, remove yourself from the things that hold you down (gravity included). This board is a vehicle with no boundaries, giving you the sensation of mental and physical detachment from your surroundings and equipping you with freedom to explore.


Drone Disassembly

· 4 propellers, 9 inch propellers
· Uses 3.7V lithium polymer battery (<1000mAh)
· All components made of plastic

Motor Programming Specifications

Programmed using Arduino software.

Circuit includes:
· Breadboard
· Resistors
· Transistors
· Jumper wires
· AC power source
· Arduino circuit board.

Prototype Chicken Specifications

· Black foamcore framework
· Two 9 inch propellers.

Propellers powered by toy motors.
Propeller rpm < motor rpm because of gear ratio (1:8 revolutions).

Prototype Owl Material Used: PLA Filament

PLA (polylactic acid) is a biodegradable plastic derived from renewable resources, such as corn starch.

Strong yet flexible bonds.
Next prototype will consist of 3D printed parts made from PLA.

prototype owl soldering

Framework Welding

I used a soldering iron and PLA filament to fuse the pieces of the frame together. This works because PLA melts easily and solidifies quickly while retaining its original strength.

Prototype Owl Purpose

To test hypothetical use:
· User’s balance (lean steering) controls lateral movement
· Hovering in one spot and moving forward/backward are two separate controls
· Rear propeller generates forward propulsion but its activation is dependent on upward lift

Projected Total Thrust

Throttle vs Thrust

Relation between electrical power input (amperage) and kinetic energy output (thrust) is non-linear.

As power input increases, energy output grows exponentially.

Owl: Full Component Assembly

· Functioning
· Mechanically fastened
· Accounted for tolerance between fixtures and parts
· Material roughly sanded to finish.

Owl: Final Conclusions

Design is a crucial factor in terms of commercialization of this product. Improving aesthetics should not compromise the product’s function.

When improving engineering design of parts, outer framework, or the body as a whole, it’s important to discover ways to diminish weight while maximizing overall strength.