Ultraportable electric vehicle company revolutionizing transportation
It's clear from the beginning that something is different about this couch. It’s a beaten-up gray and has the word “Boosted” written across the back in blocky orange letters—as in Boosted Boards, America’s favorite purveyor of electric-powered skateboards.
The Creative Transportation Forum brought "eMobility" experts and entrepreneurs together in the form of panelists Claudia Wasko (GM, Bosch eBike Systems Americas), Sanjay Dastoor (Founder, Boosted Boards), Mike Waltman (VP of Fleet, Scoot Networks), and Ross Evans (Founder and CEO, Xtracycle).
The result of a Stanford project, the Boosted Board Dual+ is an electric skateboard with a top of speed of 22mph — I’ve nearly gotten killed plenty of times riding it, mainly because it’s insanely fun.
A motorized skateboard—an idea so bone-headedly simple, it makes you wonder why these things aren’t everywhere already. Turns out, the design problems involved in mounting an adequately powerful motor and its battery onto a slim slab of wood are not easily solved. It took the crew at Boosted Boards several years of experimentation with a series of decreasingly dangerous prototypes to get this particular board rolling.
Dastoor told Mashable they're not trying to replace cars, but he questioned the bigger picture of more sustainable transportation: “Do you need to push around a two- or three-thousand pound piece of metal and plastic and everything with you when you go places for a trip that’s only a couple miles?" Boosted Boards explains that a commuter who travels by train could, for example, use their board for that final leg of their trip to the office or home.
Imagine an electric vehicle that can get you to work -- or anywhere in a six-mile radius -- quickly, without traffic frustrations or gasoline. Now imagine you can pick it up and carry it with you. Yes, this souped-up skateboard could change the face of morning commutes.
Q: In your promotional materials you talk about "the last mile" problem of public transit, this notion that the walk to the bus or subway station can be a barrier to people using public transportation. A: A lot of our friends, when they'd move here to San Francisco, would end up selling their cars because traffic and parking are such a hassle and it's cheaper and easier to get around by public transit or walking or bicycles or using Zip Cars or whatever. We see this as better than all those options because you can easily carry it into a taxi or onto a train or bus and into your office. It's a lot more compact than the other options, and because you're not pedaling or pushing you're not working up a sweat going into work. The skateboard is a pretty efficient solution to the last mile problem on its own, and we've made it even more efficient. And if the lithium ion battery is completely dead it takes just two hours to fully charge: you can plug it right into your laptop.
Riding uphill on a Boosted Board feels like you’re cheating gravity....When I rode two of the Boosted Boards prototypes, I didn’t want to give them back.
Co-founded Boosted in 2011, while a PhD student at Stanford in mechanical engineering. His work on bio-inspired robotics earned him a pending patent and is being continued by Stanford and Honda. He also earned a MS from Stanford and a BS from UC Berkeley, has previously worked at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab and SRI International, and consulted on Stanford mechatronics projects involving VW and Panasonic. Through his work at Boosted, he has three pending patents and was a speaker at TED 2013.
John also co-founded Boosted while a PhD student at Stanford in mechanical engineering. He developed the original Boosted prototype, and invented new encoder and sensor technology during his doctoral research. He earned a MS from Stanford and a BS from Seattle University in both mechanical and electrical engineering. He was also a consulting engineer at SRI International and QBotix, a venture-backed solar robotics company. He has three pending patents through his work at Boosted.
Matt was studying urban transportation and action sports through his previous startup before co-founding Boosted. He was a systems engineer at Lockheed Martin on the Airbourne Laser for six years after studying mechanical and aerospace engineering for his MS at Stanford, BS at Wichita State University, and diploma course fellowship at NATO’s von Karman Institute in Brussels. He has previously worked at NASA Dryden and Hawker Beechcraft.
Sal was previously at QBotix as a senior robotics engineer, with three pending patents. He holds a PhD and MS from Stanford and a BS from Caltech, all in mechanical engineering. He has previously worked at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab, Sandia National Labs, Caltrans, and as an independent mechatronics consultant, and also taught mechatronics at Stanford.