Introduction: Prototype Hover Platform

Here is a Hover Platform we built for an upcoming Young Innovators Festival that we are hosting at Scitech.

This is how you can make a Hover floating style platform easily and cheaply. The main body of the unit is made from MDF (Craftwood) and a tarpaulin, and uses a portable battery powered blower vac to provide the air.

You can get up to 6 small children on there easily.

Step 1: Description of the Build

Description of the Build:

Cut out two circles of MDF - one being a full circle and the other a ring. Wrap the tarpaulin over the ring and staple it to the other side.Trim off the excess tarpaulin.

Drill a hole in the full circle piece to let the air in. Then, screw the ring to the full circle piece trapping the stapled edge between the pieces of wood.

Cut out a small round piece of wood and screw into the center of the tarpaulin side. Then, cut about 6 small holes just outside of the piece you just screwed in.

Fit a nozzle flange on the other side over the small hole you drilled for the air to go in (see step 2).

Attach the blower to the nozzle flange and power up. The platform should lift off the ground and hold your weight.

Step 2: Parts

You will need the following parts:
  • 2.4m x 1.2m 16mm thick sheet of MDF (Craftwood)
  • tarpaulin about 1.5m x 1.5m or shower curtain
  • 25mm wood screws
  • Cordless / Corded blower vac or a vacuum cleaner that blows
  • Screw-on flange with an inside diameter to suit the blower vac / vacuum cleaner end

Step 3: Tools

You will need the following tools:
  • Jigsaw
  • Drill with drill bits
  • Holes saw
  • Staple gun and staples
  • Screw driver bit for drill
  • Knife
  • Scissors
  • Gaffa tap

Step 4: The Build

The Build:
  1. First you mark out two 1200mm diameter circles on the sheet of MDF. On one of the circles mark another circle inside of it with a diameter of about 1050mm. Cut these out with the jigsaw leaving you one full circle and another ring. Also cut out a small disc about 150mm round (to be used in step 5).
  2. Use the hole-saw to cut a 50mm hole about 150mm in from the outside edge. This will be for the air to come in.
  3. Lay the tarpaulin down on the ground and sit the ring in the middle of it. Fold the tarpaulin over the top of the ring and start stapling it on. Make sure you keep it taut! Once finished, cut off any extra tarpaulin, keeping to the inside diameter of the ring as a guide for the fold over width.
  4. Lay the other circle on top of the ring, with the staple-side up. Now screw the two pieces together, keeping about 30mm in from the outside and space the screws about 200mm apart. Thus trapping the stapled side between the two circles.
  5. Flip it over with the tarpaulin side up and screw the small 150mm disk (from step 1) into the centre, trapping the tarpaulin between it and the wood. Cut about six 25mm holes out about 50mm from the central disc.
  6. Flip it back over and screw the flange in over the hole in the top you drilled earlier.
  7. Get your blower and fit the nozzle into the flange hole. You can use the tape to fix it there.
Now it's all ready to turn on and test it out.
Keep your weight over the center and use a flat surface to ride it on. Enjoy.