Toyota has released a second, longer video about its hoverboard promotional project, showing British skater Ross McGouran doing tricks on it – and falling off just as often. You can watch the video above.
The video for the carmaker's Lexus brand follows a teaser released in June that you can watch at the end of this article.
Hoverboards are most associated with Back to the Future II, where Michael J Fox famously rode a floating skateboard to escape his enemies – and inspired real-world engineers to try to build one. (You can see one of the original hoverboard props from the film at the After Babel exhibition at the Stockholm Museum of Modern Art.)
Toyota's prototype Slide board hovers several centimetres off the ground, and emits wisps of steam just below its bamboo surface. Its ends are slightly upturned like those of a skateboard.
The Slide isn't a real hoverboard like Marty McFly's though – having more in common with Japan's maglev trains. It hovers through magnetic levitation created by superconductors, a Toyota spokeswoman said. A cryostat, which is a device to maintain very low temperatures, cools liquid nitrogen in the hoverboard and that keeps the superconductors cold. When that happens, the superconductors create electrical currents that can repel magnets, allowing the board to float and move without friction.
Operated like a skateboard, the Slide doesn't require batteries or a power supply but does need magnets on a rail embedded in the ground to work. The Barcelona skate park you can see in the video has been specially constructed with such rails under its concrete – so we're assuming the skateboard can only follow set paths.
The device is not intended for sale, says Toyoto – unsurprisingly considering the infrastrcuture required to make it work.
The hoverboard is the latest in Lexus' Amazing in Motion project-based promo campaign, which have including palm-sized quadrotor drones that can move in unison.
There have been various designs for hoverboards in recent years, including the Hendo Hoverboard, a prototype announced by a California startup last year that uses magnets to float over a surface plated with copper. The project drew thousands of supporters and raised over US$500,000 on crowdfunding site Kickstarter.
Hoverboards drew increased attention in May after a video of Catalin Alexandru Duru earned him a Guinness World Record for a hoverboard flight of 275.9 metres above a lake in Canada.
The feat involved a lightweight, battery-operated board that somewhat resembles a drone. It incorporates eight powerful rotors that lifted the inventor to a height of 5m above the water.