28 Jun

How Does a Balance Scooter Work?

If you have ever seen someone riding a balance scooter or hoverboard, the first thing that most likely has crossed your mind is: how do they ride that? After all, people can maneuver the board without any controls or handles. It’s interesting how personal mobility transportations has become smaller and more compact but has become more agile. This makes you wonder: how do hoverboards work? 

What is a balance scooter?

A balance scooter is also called a hoverboard or self-balancing board. It is popularly referred to as a hoverboard, but there has been considerable discussion on whether this is an appropriate term to use since self-balancing boards don’t hover. 

Either way, self-balancing scooters consist of two motorised wheels connected by a pair of pads in which the riders place their feet. Riders balance on the two pads and control the balance scooter by leaning forward or backward and twisting from side to side.

The current form of the balance scooter was launched in 2013 and gained popularity in the West quickly thanks to endorsements by celebrities like Justin Bieber, Kendall Jenner, and Chris Brown. Since then, its popularity has reached worldwide and has developed variations such as a self-balancing scooter with a handle. According to reports, the global market for the hoverboard is expected to reach US$1.9 billion by 2027 with a 4.8% CAGR from 2020 to 2027.

How does a balance scooter work?

A balance scooter or hoverboard contains many components despite its size. A standard balance scooter includes the following components:

  • A steel frame with a central pivot
  • Two gyroscopes
  • Two infrared sensors
  • Two electric motors (located inside the wheels)
  • Two tilt/speed sensors (located inside the wheels)
  • A logic board
  • Pressure pads
  • A battery pack
  • Charging port
  • Power switch
  • LED lights
  • A plastic shell

Among these, the most important components that make this work are the wheel sensor, gyroscope, logic board, and battery pack. To understand how a balance scooter moves, let’s quickly go through each component’s function:

  • Wheel sensor. Located within the wheels, it contains a speed and tilt sensor and detects the wheel’s revolutions per minute (rpm). This data is then sent to the gyroscope.

  • Gyroscope. It allows riders to balance automatically. It receives data from the wheel sensor and sends it to the main logic board.

  • Logic board. It is the balance scooter’s brain that keeps an eye on its speed and tilt in real-time. It also manages the balance scooter’s power.

  • Battery pack. Finally, this is what runs your balance scooter. Without enough energy, you can only go so far and so fast with a balance scooter. Most balance scooters use a 36V 4400mAH battery pack.

  • All the other components help these major components detect movement, allowing riders to move in whichever direction they want just by balancing on the hoverboard.

    Should you use balance scooters?

    Balance scooters or hoverboards have proven to be not only a cool way to ride outside but also a convenient way to go around the neighbourhood or city. After all, it’s light, compact, and economical. 

    However, there have been several issues in the past regarding the rider’s safety and the hoverboard’s reliability. For one, since it can take time for some riders to learn how to balance themselves on the balance board, it poses safety issues when they fall. In terms of reliability, some hoverboard units were reported to have exploded due to the batteries. However, most brands and manufacturers were able to fix this problem, but the stereotype remains.

    If you think balance scooters are harmless, as long as the rider rides them properly, then you will be reaping the benefits that these devices can give. 

    • Convenient. Balance scooters are great for short trips to nearby shops or around your neighbourhood without getting tired and without the hassles of parking. 

  • Fast. Self-balancing electric scooters may be small but it can get to your destination faster since it’s quick and allows you to avoid traffic.

  • Low maintenance cost. Technically, you don’t need any regular maintenance at all as long as you take care of it properly. However, in case you damage a component, rest assured that it’s much more affordable than repairing or maintaining an electric scooter or electric bike.
  • Portable. Thanks to its light weight and compact design, you can carry it anywhere when you’re riding it. This allows you to keep your personal transport safe from theft since you can bring it with you inside establishments.

  • Affordable. Although it’s not exactly cheap, it’s more affordable than getting an e-bike, electric scooter, a motorcycle, or a car. It can only cost you around $300 to $600. Plus, it has low maintenance costs.

  • Eco-friendly. The best thing about this is that it’s purely electrical, so you don’t contribute to air pollution. 

  • If you’re looking for balance scooters, Ride Hub offers a wide range of hoverboards from reliable brands. Check out our shop to see all the bestsellers when it comes to balancing scooters.