- Consumer Electronics & Personal Gadgets
Hoverboard: I rode and tested a Self Balancing Two Wheel Scooter
After doing a fair amount of research into price I decided to purchase my scooter on Ebay. I wanted to get the item quickly, so instead of waiting up to a month for a unit from overseas I did a search on ebay and filtered the results to "within 25 miles". I got lucky and found a seller who was so close he delivered my package in person! (something I haven't ever had happen on ebay) I paid less than $350 for my unit as the seller was just trying to get rid of inventory. After hastily opening the box I was excited, but had to plug the unit in to charge before taking it for a spin.)
Amazon also has two wheel self balancing scooters.
How They Work
These personal transportation devices use accelerometer based leveling and gyroscopic sensors that detect changes of the rider's center of gravity. As a rider shifts their weight backwards and forwards the device will detect the tilt and angle and travel up to 8 MPH in the direction of the lean. For turning, the rider simply shifts their weight and balance to the left or right side of the board in order to turn swiftly or spin around.The scooter will beep when it is traveling at max speed. Having rode one myself, I hardly ever rode the scooter at maximum speed because the device seems to get more unstable the faster you ride. I'd personally recommend getting very comfortable with riding the scooter indoors before taking it outside. Some dangers I've noticed are that small rocks and branches on the street can easily cause a fall. Also the scooters are a bit difficult to ride up and down hills and nearly any uneven surface will challenge your balance.
How would you rate the self-balancing scooter?
It's Fun to ride!
I decided the best place to start would be in the kitchen. So me and my roommates all got to taking turns stepping carefully onto the board while holding each other, the walls, and counter tops as we hesitantly stepped onto the board. The first thing we noticed is that the unit is very sensitive, simply stepping on with one foot can cause the unit to spin. We noticed that the indicator light will light up on the side that you can step on first. Then it's like stepping up on a stair it's best to mount the board quickly and smoothly.
It takes a little bit of time and effort to get the machine to do what you want it to, [i.e. not spin around in circles] but after you learn to relax and simply lean slightly in the direction you want to go it seems like second nature to ride. You can get so used to the feeling of riding that it feels odd to walk. It's a lot of fun simply gliding around on a raised platform, so much that you can forget the with of the machine,especially in doorways and easily clip the side of the board which will swiftly knock you right off. (Me and my friends all had our turns falling off the machine)
But, are they Safe?
There is one thing I would definitely recommend to anyone riding these fancy toys. Our skinned elbows will testify that the most important article of protection would be . Yes, that is by far the most common way you're going to get hurt riding. It wouldn't hurt to throw in a helmet, especially outdoors! But after a while you can learn to safely dismount the scooter when you find that the ground is fast approaching. ELBOW PADS
***Also as a fair warning these units do have weight limitations, which we found out all too suddenly after the unit was broken just a week after purchase. So, if you purchase check your limit and make sure to abide by it.