NASA using hoverboard tech to build its own tractor beam for satellites

Contributed by
Sep 3, 2015

The minds at NASA are teaming up with the company behind the Hendo hoverboard to create some new space tech. How could this not be cool?

The tech firm that created the Hendo, Arx Pax, is working with NASA to see if they can potentially scale the Magnetic Field Architecture (MFA) tech that runs the hoverboard to move small satellites around in space. You know, kind of like a tractor beam, but for tiny satellites (which are typically used for experiments, etc.).

According to a report from The Verge, the goal would be to explore how the MFA technology could be used to maneuver tiny Cubesat satellites in space. If it proves viable, it could potentially allow satellites to dock with less chance for damage, or just move around for experiments with ease. Arx Pax and NASA are working toward a prototype that should debut within the next few years, and at that point we’ll be able to see if those subtle nudges are the right trick to maneuver Cubesats around.

Though it might seem odd, the idea behind using the hoverboard tech in space makes sense. The Hendo hoverboard works by forming a magnetic field between the board and a conductive surface. Though you wouldn’t actually be hovering in space, they think those repulsion and attraction motions could be used to move Cubesats around in space.

Simple and (hopefully) effective.

(Via The Verge)