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Small brushless motors make electronic skateboards possible

Boosted Boards are a lot of fun. What is that? It's a company that makes electronic skateboards using new brushless electric motors. These motors weren't possible a few years ago, they require large amounts of computing power that now has arrived thanks to the smartphone revolution. Here I get a look at this interesting new company and dig into what else these might be used for. Learn more at http://www.boostedboards.com/

I bet you never thought you'd see me on a skateboard, huh? (That happens at the beginning of the video). 
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34 comments
 
But where are the hoverboards? ;)
 
+Robert Scoble I still owe you an email about the European startups, I haven't forgotten.  Met with a few more, some of them you have already met too. 
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Can improve the speed???
 
The speed is limited to 20mph for safety reasons. They say the motors/gearing can actually support about 30.
 
1hp per motor is pretty awesome!  Downhill charging too!
 
+Lars Fosdal they have a lot more torque than I was expecting, too. Even better? This company is thinking of other places to use these motors. They also have sold $700,000 on Kickstarter already, with dozens of sales coming every day.
 
Electric motor torque is amazing.  The big missing link for electric motor adoption is decent, dense power storage.  In fact, that's the missing link for most portable tech. these days.
 
The price still is kinda stiff, though. $1199-1299 per board will be out of range for many.  
 
+Robert Scoble What's cool is that they are saying the power available on their regular board is 5 times greater than the board that you tested ! 
John B
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On the other end of the scale, some of the biggest trucks in the word do not use an axle connected to an engine, but instead use electric motor drives at each of the wheels... see http://goo.gl/JDJbb
 
Would be cool to have your phone govern your speed. Like a gas pedal.
 
The computing power required has been exaggerated in the article. My remote control car has a 2.5kW electronically commutated brushless motor. I got the speed controller to convert battery DC to frequency controlled 3 phase AC 7 years ago for a reasonable price. Still awesome tech and I love it but it's not exactly new 
 
I'll wait until they have one for sale. 
 
Is there some reason why this couldn't have been done with regular, old-fashioned DC motors with brushes?
 
Put the motors on a mountain board!
 
Good to know and as soon as I run into a ten year old I will be sure to pass this on...Bazinga
 
Wait, they go no faster than 20 mph for security reasons??? The 12 mph of a Segway seem somewhat overprotective in that light.
 
Love it, but at $US1299 it's probably too expensive, although I can understand the price.  What price do "standard" long boards that these are based on go for?
 
@Martin- You might dig "Flotilla" by Dan Haight if you're in the mood to re-read 'Snow Crash.'
 
+Erik Swiger because brushed motors of a similar size have low rpm, low torque and are very inefficient compared to brushless
 
+AAron Metcalfe Thank you for answering my question.  I must admit, though, I still don't understand, because series-wound DC motors with brushes have been used for years in electric cars, and they have the perfect relationship of RPM/torque for accelerating cars.
 
+Erik Swiger you'll find a car can accommodate the extra size and weight of the DC motors. Also that type of motor is much cheaper and easier to speed control and they are also more common hence you see them in electric home built jobs and prototypes. Brushless is still more efficient and the speed control is better and more efficient too once you have the sophisticated electronic controller required
 
just read this article.  I know it's a year old, but the tech they are using is even older and way over priced for what it is.  RC planes, cars, and boats have been using brushless motors and Lithium Polymer batteries for over a decade and the price on a brushless setup with speed controller and batteries is in the range of a few hundred dollars.
example:  A 2400 watt  brushless electric outrunner motor with the equivalent of a 50cc motor is about $80.  A 12S lipo battery pack (44.4 volt, 4000 mah) is about $200.   An 80Amp 44v speed controller for the brushless motor is about $100.  
You could build one of these for less than $400, That's retail...  these guys are going to be banking about $1000 dollars on each board they sell.  They might try to be less greedy and give up the whole "mysterious new technology" approach.   Selling a lot of these for less profit would be easier than selling a few of these for disgusting profit. 
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