Posted Dec 5th 2012 1:30PM
There is nothing new about an electric skateboard (you can pick one up today at Sears or Toys 'R' Us), but the founders of ZBoard have come up with an innovative way to make electric mobility safe and easy. The ZBoard uses intuitively placed weight-sensing pads to control acceleration and braking, and Translogic recently had the chance to check one out.
Weighing in at 13.6 kilograms (30 pounds), the ZBoard is powered by a 400-watt motor and a lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4) battery giving the board a 16 kilometre (10-mile) range and top speed of 27.4 km/h (17 miles per hour). The unique sensors on the Canadian maple deck allow riders to lean forward to accelerate and lean back to slow down, stop and even back up. Early prototypes used electric brakes to bring it to a stop, but after it was discovered that this caused damage to some electrical components, the design was changed to incorporate regenerative braking for better stopping and longer range.
Created by Ben Forman and Geoff Larson as a part of a mechanical engineering project, the two men expected to sell 25 boards in three months, but instead they sold that many in just three days. There are two versions of the ZBoard with the Classic going for $649 and the Pro (the model tested by Translogic) priced at $949.
While we're still holding out for the day when hoverboards become a reality, the ZBoard definitely sounds like a lot of fun. Check out how it works in the video below.