Weight-Sensing Electric Skateboard Takes Prize
LAS VEGAS Jan. 7 — An electronic skateboard was the winner at today's LaunchIt event at the Consumer Electronics Show where eight companies had five minutes to pitch their innovations to a panel of angel investors.
Zboard whizzed into the ballroom with its co-founder Ben Forman aboard. On stage, Forman's partner Geoff Larson described the problem that many commuters face, and that Zboard could solve. What do you do when your destination is too far to walk, too close to drive and biking would be just too sweaty? After the show, Larson told TechNewsDaily that he's ridden the board in a suit and tie to many presentations, something that wouldn't be as easy on an ordinary skateboard.
Unlike, other motorized scooters, Zboard lets you ride hands-free. The board has built-in weight sensors on its deck, so leaning forward causes the board to accelerate and leaning back makes it slow down. Each weight-sensing footpad evaluates how much force the rider is applying and sends this information to the onboard micro-controller, which determines the speed of the 400-volt electric motor. Zboard can travel up to 17 mph.
Larson said the board can accommodate a 200-pound rider uphill in a parking garage. It is far more stable than an ordinary longboard and about the same size. And just about anyone can ride it the first time out, he said.
The classic model priced at $650 can be ridden for five miles on a single charge. The $950 pro model will go 10 miles on a charge.