About this project
Thank You Backers for Our Success!!
What is the NeoLev™ Board?
The NeoLev™ Board is a technology demonstrator of a sub-scale miniature hovering board without wheels, similar to what you may have seen in the movies. Yes, it actually hovers! It’s just a bit smaller than the popular fingerboards using only a 1/4" thick levitation surface but maintains a proportional levitation to that of a life-size skateboard, as if it had wheels. It’s designed to hover in place or move forward and backward along the entire length of track. Seeing it levitate up close for the first time is remarkable.
Coolest Toy of the Decade?
Perhaps. It is that cool. I mean, it hovers! So, what do you do with it? Two words; play and be mesmerized each time you see it.
Kickstarter Community Customized Board Designs
The NeoLev™ Board comes in several variations. The pledge reward boards will be a flattened skateboard shape with either the NeoLev™ Board logo and graphic or a customizable design. After the campaign, we will ask backers to submit their board graphics as part of a growing database to choose!! The design can be 100% up to you! Since decals in the shape of boards are placed on the top of the hovering material, infinite designs and colors can be used.
A classic skateboard shape with kick tails has been tested, but the mass production of these contoured shapes are more difficult, hence our need for more funding. A special surface or track is needed for the board to achieve levitation. This track is purposefully designed to be about twice the width of the board. Tracks can be cascaded or placed side-by-side to simulate a sidewalk, for example. They can be separated and run parallel to one another for a drag strip configuration or linked together for a full circuit race track.
Experiments have also been done to show that the NeoLev™ Board can be run in module tubes. In addition, a reflective mirror-like covering can be placed over the surface to enhance the levitation effect even more. Tracks can have radial turns, ramps, and curved like a half pipe. The Kickstarter pledge Rewards will be technology demonstrators of miniature arc/half pipe shapes allowing for incredibly long back and forth board motion.
In 1842 Samuel Earnshaw said permanent magnets cannot attain stable equilibrium (levitation or suspension) as a result of interacting with other permanent magnets in any arrangement, yet inventors have worked tirelessly to attain magnetic levitation. Through the years a variety of solutions to overcome the stability problem have yielded conclusive results using servomechanisms, oscillating fields, rotational stabilization or superconductors, but there were problems with them being practical and affordable. These solutions (techniques) included complex electrical feedback circuitry, incorporate exotic materials and/or require coolants like liquid nitrogen to achieve levitation. Doesn't sound like something you would want to mess with, right?
That's why our NeoLev™ Board technology uses diamagnetic levitation which is one method for magnetic suspension without the use of control devices, electromagnets, moving parts or materials requiring sub-freezing temperatures.
Popular culture and science fiction enthusiasts have portrayed hovering vehicles in Hollywood movies and books, yet actual or scale models which levitate in place and move around presently don't exist for the masses. We want to change that, With YOUR help, we can get your fun off the ground!
$49-$299 Levels - These reward levels are technology demonstrators of varying length levitation tracks. Donors will receive one (1) or two (2) NeoLev™ Board(s) and a one lane or multi-lane “track” from four (4) to twenty-four (24) inches long. The board is constructed of dark gray pyrolytic graphite with a NeoLev™ Board decal affixed on top. The 1/4" thick levitation surface consists of 3 to 4 inch long custom-made arc magnets bolted together into an assembly for optimal levitation. The number of assemblies connected to one another is dependent on the pledge level.These magnet assemblies are attached to support plates which serve to elevate the surface and shield the top and side regions from metallic objects and surfaces if tipped. They make for a great display piece.
The Rewards pictures show flat levitation surface whereas the actual Rewards you receive will have slightly curved surfaces to contain the board and provide cool movement.
Meet the Team
The NeoLev™ team has evolved from an inventor tinkering in his garage into a talented team of engineers, designers, social media experts, consultants, and suppliers dedicated to the research and development and manufacturing of the NeoLev™ Board and its technologies. The principal team is currently comprised of:
The NeoLev™ Board was created by Eric Stave. He has a BS degree in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering from Purdue University and a MS degree in Mechanical Engineering from Washington University, along with post-graduate work in astrophysics. He has 25 years of experience in engineering analysis and testing, project engineering and technical lead capacities in solid and liquid rocket programs, spacecraft and satellite integration, missile defense military ground transport vehicles, fighter jet testing, signal processing and instrumentation. Outside of work, he designed and oversaw construction of several residential homes in the mountains of Colorado. He is an instrument-rated private pilot, runner, hiker, and accomplished mountain climber. With a keen interest in history, travel, reading, science, and technical innovation, he has taken on the challenge of creating the NeoLev™ Board, and experiments with all sorts of high tech gadgets. As a father of two, he resides in the Sierra Nevada foothills near Sacramento, California. To contact him, please e-mail 14erRockStar@gmail.com.
Marketing, video design and editing, as well as social media efforts for NeoLev™ Board are directed by Becca Cord. She has a BS degree in Marketing from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. She is a freelance web marketer, copywriter/editor, and videographer having worked with innovative companies such as the popular Shakoolie. Becca has been published on EXP Adventures, The Indie Chicks, and LA Family Magazine to name a few. Not only does she write for her own blog and other esteemed publications, but she also produces her own YouTube series and is organizing a nation wide blogging convention as the co-founder of Blogger Interactive. She also will lead a 2013 Movember charity campaign (Bloggers for Movember) for the second consecutive year to raise money for men's health. To contact her, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
David Spilka -
- Mechanical Design, Modeling, Drafting (Solidworks)
- Hardware Integration
Jason Fairchild -
- Structural Analysis (Nastran, ANSYS)
- Graphic Design, Logo
Cindy Renken -
- Administrative Assistant
Matthew Prebeg, PhD, J.D. -
- Legal Consultant
Delvies Plastics, John Delvie, Owner
- Levitation Surface Supports (Laser cutting/engraving)
SuperMagnet, Meredith Quintana, Operations Manager
- Magnetic Levitation Elements Supplier
K&J Magnetics, Michael Paul, Sales
- Pyrolytic Graphite Board Material
FASTSIGNS-Folsom, Peter Maynes, Owner
- Reflective Surface/Decals/Labels
Social Media Forum
Many people accept the phrase, "It can't be done." We want to change this. Where there is drive, passion, and persistence, there is great discovery. We encourage NeoLev™ supporters alike to take advantage of learning opportunities, ask questions, and explore. We enthusiastically open up our social media doors to all questions, inquiries, and suggestions. Send us a tweet or message us on our Facebook page.
We will do our best to address all questions, no matter how simple or complex. We'd even love to hear about your scientific creations as well and help to support them. We believe in innovation...period. So let's get the conversation in gear!
What Will We Do With The Money
Once we honor our commitment to send the donor's their Rewards, the goal for the NeoLev™ Board in raising the funds is to present the innovation to toy companies so that they can manufacture these in large quantities throughout the world. How cool would it be to have this board available in 2015 to mark the time when the levitating board is to exist?! To achieve that and more, we need funds to devote to more research and development, producing more suitable prototypes, creating a strategic marketing strategy, seeking legal counsel, completing the US patent, pursuing foreign patents and extending public awareness. We will also need to build resources and marketing tools on our website so that we have a solid hub for feedback on board/surface variants and future improvements and advances. Finally, we need a special place to house updates about ongoing research and development for an increased board size using a different technology.
The NeoLev™ Board has the potential to be the coolest toy in a decade, but it won't be possible without YOUR help and support! Just like the NeoLev™ Board itself, we want to get this project off of the ground!
The research and development process in proving the technology has been successful. By developing a variety of prototypes through these efforts, the manufacturing process and vendors have been determined with quotes calculated for future Rewards manufacturing. During this fundraising campaign, sufficient materials have been ordered for Reward levels to serve as final pathfinders to identify specific problems in dimensions, tolerances, supply chain, etc. For example, the magnets used for the levitation surfaces are unique arc magnets which are not readily available, so they have been precision drafted requiring a 40-day lead time from order to manufacture/shipment. These magnets have thru holes allowing for easy assembly of the five (5) magnet Halbach Array via simple screws, spacers and nuts bolt to laser cut structural supports. The levitation board is made of pyrolytic graphite and comes in 2”x2”x1/8” thick squares. Several board shapes are cut via a template from this material. The graphite layers are separated by a custom-made razor to achieve 0.02” thick boards. These are sanded and polished and then decals are affixed to the top surface and placed in glass vials for shipping. Shipping containers for each Rewards Level and has been evaluated along with method of delivery. All manufacturing for the pathfinder Pre-Rewards are done in a home garage/shop.
Immediately upon completion and funding of the campaign, vendors and suppliers will be notified of the quantities needed and materials will be ordered. As described above, the magnets are the long lead item so during their manufacturing, donors in the $79-$499 pledge levels will be contacted to provide their customized board graphics. In parallel, levitation boards will be produced and letters will be signed by the inventor thanking the donors for their contribution for the various levels.
We are approaching the Rewards manufacturing strategy based on potential levels of scale between up to $100,000 in funding. All assembly can be done in the home garage/shop as described above in the Pre-Reward Manufacturing section. This scale potentially involves the assembly of up to 1,000 levitation board/surface Rewards, so additional hourly personnel will be hired to assemble, pack and ship the Rewards if we surpass $100,000 in funding.
After Rewards have been sent to the donors, efforts will focus on lessons learned in manufacturing and supply chain management depending on the scale of the production. The ultimate goal is to present the technology to be licensed and/or have the patent purchased by a large company for mass production. Therefore, more research and development of advanced prototypes are required. Depending on the scale of donations discussed above, these prototypes will be designed and tested in either the garage or warehouse if very large scale production is warranted. We fully expect there to be a large demand for the NeoLev™, yet most likely manufacturing will continue in the same manner as during the Rewards manufacturing process.
First, we will focus on producing the rewards to ship out to our faithful supporters, the donors! We are looking forward to this challenge as it involves a full manufacturing procedure of the NeoLev™ by which we’ll discover ways to improve the board and optimize the process along the way. You are helping us to make elite technology and production quality.
Our goal is to have most of the rewards in transit to their new owners within three months of meeting our funding goal, which is in mid-November. Specially-ordered magnets and board material need time to be manufactured from scratch. Meanwhile, marketing and legal strategies will be formulated and a further social media push will be done in attempts to get the attention of larger companies. Our website will be developed and updated with our progress with research and development during this time. Completion and approval of the US patent will also be done while target regions like Japan, Korea and Europe will be pursued for possible patenting.
Risks and challenges
Every project has its setbacks and we believe we’ve addressed the majority of technical issues by producing and testing a myriad of prototypes. This involved working closely with vendors and manufacturers in all aspects of design and procurement. Precision has been applied by incorporating Computer Aided Design while finite element analysis optimized the levitation height and stability of the NeoLev™ Board. By drafting a patent we’ve performed extensive due diligence to remain confident about the commercial and legal viability.
A most critical issue is safety. Anytime high grade magnets are distributed to the public, their use must be scrutinized. Recently there have been mishaps with children swallowing several small magnets causing internal damage. We’ve designed this system with those dangers in mind by mechanically bolting the levitation surface magnets together and making their geometry such they cannot be swallowed. In addition the Rewards and patent application offer various safety designs so the magnet surface is physically shielded from flat surfaces thus forcing the strongest parts of the magnetic field to be far from pacemakers, credit cards and metal objects. A prominent warning label will be included with each levitation surface. The pyrolytic graphite material is carbon-based and similar to pencil lead. Each of these materials are commercially available and able to ship domestically and internationally from the US.
The pursuit of a sub-scale version of a levitating skateboard was developed due to the complex technology required in making a life-size one. After decades since the concept was introduced, no commercially viable boards have been developed to date. Though electromagnetic forces are very strong, the power to weight ratio is too low to lift an adult using diamagnetic levitation in a practical sense. Through this technology, levitation of a miniature vehicle can be achieved and sold commercially as we're demonstrating. We continue to research some levitation techniques on a larger scale. Stay tuned.
All of your support and funding will be crucial in finding solutions to these risks and challenges. Our dream is to boost NeoLev™ into full force, so we need time to focus all of our energy on development. As we all know, time is money. That's where you come in!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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