Cruise Control for Electronic Skateboards


Hoon and I wanted to attack the problem of campus transportation. Or, we were just excited about electric skateboards that were showing up in Kickstarter. Anyways, we wanted to do a project on electric skateboards.

The problem we saw with the existing skateboards was that they needed a special hand-held remote controllers like the one on the below.

Remote controller for e-skateboards

These controllers seemed cumbersome, and the interface didn’t seem intuitive enough to be safe. I mean no one rides the skateboard with fingers. We wanted to make new interface to control these e-skateboards.

Our idea was that e-skateboards should be ridden the same way as the normal ones. We believed that our results should be something similar to the hoverboard from the movie, ‘Back to the Future'(Our team name ‘BCDEF’ comes from this. It’s read as ‘B to F’).

Hoverboard from Back to the Future

To implement this, we put magnet on the wheel and used hall sensor to get the RPM of the board. After the rider kicks the board and put her/his feet on the board, the pressure sensor detects it, and the control system tries to maintain the RPM of the board, measured using the hall sensor.

Pressure sensor is located in the crossing point of X

The prototype was successful! Our project attracted many interests and even managed to get scholarship from NAVER. We were invited to NAVER D2 Startup Factory in Seoul.

During our stay in NAVER D2 Startup Factory, we tried to build commercial level products. We tried to develop our own PCB, BLDC motor drivers, hardware, and safe control algorithms, and had some success. Although we couldn’t make it to the actual commercialization steps, this was enlightening experience, and we learned a lot about motors and electronics.

Our first success in driving BLDC motor
Our second success
Our final success

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