Board of Imagination thrills at GadgetShow Live in UK

17 Sep 2013

GadgetShow Live is a weeklong exhibition of technology and consumer electronics meant to engage families from all over the United Kingdom. This March, Chief Community Officer Dr. Dom Sagolla and a team of support engineers from Chaotic Moon got to be part of the show.

Dom thrilled tens of thousands of people over a weeklong period, riding the one and only Board of Imagination:

The Board of Imagination is a 100-pound electric skateboard, operating an 800-watt motor using 36 volts of energy — and the power of Dom’s mind (a NeuroSky MindWave headset sends brainwave data to the board via Bluetooth). A tablet on the board receives these signals, and special software from Chaotic Moon distills this information down to two parameters: Attention and Meditation. Attention measures the rider’s focus and concentrations, and turns on the motor. Meditation measures the rider’s relaxation and preparedness. Usually we use Meditation to achieve speeds up to 32mph (51kph).

Due to the danger inherent in a stunt like this involving the crowd, we governed the board’s speed at 12mph (19kph). Additional precautions were taken to ensure safety:

  • Dead Man’s Switch – The board will halt if the rider steps off a small metallic pressure switch on the front of the board. This actually makes the board safer for the audience than for the rider: one slip of the foot and the device stops short.
  • Steady Acceleration – The board was programmed to accelerate gradually to maximum speed, for optimal control.
  • Knobby Wheels – Designed to go on any surface, our wheels also act to protect the feet of passers-by.

If traveling at a rapid pace on a heavy sheet of aluminum, all while concentrating on forward balance as you navigate a crowd that’s close enough to slap hands doesn’t sound dangerous enough, one more fact may chill you:

We did it all using Microsoft Windows, three times a day for five days

In case some of you are wondering who did the best, look no further. 

Many thanks to Pollyanna Woodward, Jason Bradbury, Jon Bentley and the entire GadgetShow crew for being such gracious hosts and ensuring our safety.