Greg Henderson on the Hendo Hoverboard

November 5, 2014| Space|3 Minutes|By AAG

We’re joined by Greg Henderson, the co-founder of Arx Pax – the company developing the Hendo Hoverboard. What his firm has achieved is a true breakthrough in advanced propulsion – because not only have they created a stable, self-propelled, levitation platform with no external power source, they’ve also begun to successfully market & commercialize this technology as well.

The Hendo Hoverboard isn’t quite the device you remember from the movies: the Hendo Hoverboard only levitates over a conductive surface, and the early prototypes emit a distinct humming noise during operation. It’s power-hungry as well: the operating time of today’s prototypes is approximately 7 minutes when carrying an adult passenger. However, what the Hendo Hoverboard has achieved is to reach the commercial marketplace, which is a goal that thousands of innovators have fallen short of in breakthrough propulsion for decades.

Greg Henderson discusses his initial inspiration for the Hendo Hoverboard as coming from research aimed at improving the structural integrity of buildings in geologically unstable, earthquake-prone regions of the world. Rather than provide cushioning for the building’s foundation with liquids, he was struck with the notion of stabilizing the building using magnetic fields – and his research led him to what he calls “Magnetic Field Architecture” – the key principle behind the Hendo Hoverboard’s implementation of inductive levitation.

After self-financing his research into this technology for years, Greg describes running out of funds – and turning to venture-capital to provide valuable assistance in creating a commercially-viable product. But how do you market an innovative new levitation technology in a way that makes it understandable to the average person? Henderson bet on recreating a fictional technology that everyone was already very familiar with: the Hoverboard.

Greg, along with his wife and co-founder Jill Henderson, have launched a kickstarter campaign on their Hendo Hover website – with the goal of raising $250,000 for the project. So far they’ve raised over $424,750 and have 2,608 contributors – which is hopefully a sign of early market acceptance of their product. In this interview, Greg discusses how the science of advanced propulsion has worked successfully in the commercial marketplace for a startup success story unlike any other.

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