A skateboard flying through SCE hallways
Yogev Lankri (29) and Roy Braunstein (29) completed their final year of studies in the Mechanical Engineering degree program. As part of their studies they had the opportunity to move from the theoretical to the practical and to plan a final project on their own, from the start. Throughout their last year in the program the two students, accompanied by and under the guidance of college lecturers, developed a very unique final project – a flying skateboard.
As part of the initial brainstorming they conducted in order to find an idea for their final project, Lankri and Braunstein thought of several ideas, and together with their lecturer, Dr. Chen Giladi, finally decided on a creative idea for the project. “Dr. Giladi sat with us and thought about a project topic for a long time. During one of our conversations he half-jokingly brought up an idea– to make a flying skateboard. We took up the challenge and told him that if this is was what he suggests then this was what we would do”, recounted Braunstein.
The main challenge in developing the project was how to cause the object to hover. As Lankri and Braunstein studied the topic, they learned how the trains in China and Japan operate and drew inspiration from this understanding. They said that: “These trains travel at a speed of 600 km/h, and their technology is based on strong electro-magnetic fields that repel each other. However, contrary to this technology, the idea of the flying skateboard we created was based on the use of a simple copper plate that would be the road, and use of a system of unique magnets and their rapid rotation to create attracting and repelling magnets, which is how the hovering is achieved”. “Through the experiments we conducted we studied the structure of this scheme and the effect of the rotation speed, and we found a system that enables the skateboard to hover. The advantage of our system is that it enables almost any object with an engine and suitable fields to hover above a copper or aluminum plate, which reduces by magnitudes the energy needed to transport objects or people and reach speed velocity of 600 km/h or more.
Yogev Lankri recounted that: “Throughout all four years at the college we acquired a great deal of knowledge, whether in the courses, lectures or laboratories. When we chose this project many people said that we wouldn’t succeed because it was too complicated, but the lecturers and the College faculty always believed in us and accompanied us. At SCE they taught us how to study, in other words even if there is something that we do not know, in the end we will learn and understand, and this is the reason for the success of our project. We’re glad we had the opportunity to develop something so original and special as part of our final project. We just submitted the final project for the degree, but we plan to delve deeper into things and to develop a more sophisticated model that we will place on the market.”