The Lexus Slide is the latest interpretation of the high tech dream, a form of friction-less levitating transport. The latest to make the world wonder, is it really a Hoverboard? Slide is a working high tech wonder with one small caveat, it needs something to push against. It isn’t a ‘Back to the Future’ Hoverboard but instead a maglev skateboard, which in the end may be even cooler.
Inside the Slide Lexus design genius Haruhiko Tanakashi has managed to squeeze multiple high temperature superconductors that will resist the magnet field of a permanent magnet with enough force to lift it and a fully grown man into the air. The superconductors used by Lexus only take on their special properties when cooled to -197 degrees Celsius hence the steam coming out of the side of the Slide which is the exhaust of the liquid nitrogen cooling system keeping the superconductors super chilly.
Slide gets its lift from the odd fact that superconductors and magnetic fields don’t mix, a magnetic field can’t go through a superconductor and is forced to work hard bending around it. This does mean that for the Slide to work permanent magnets need to be embedded in the surface that you wish to ride the board on. In the video you are actually looking at an entirely custom built skate park that has magnets embedded just under its surface, an impressive feat in itself if its real.
Presented for you viewing pleasure is pro skater Ross McGouran and friends trying to learn to live a life completely free of friction, riding the skateboard sized maglev. Sit back relax and prepare for a world covered in magnets.