History of the ZBoard
The ZBoard began as a Senior engineering project at the University of Southern California back in January 2009. Seven years and dozens of iterations later we're lucky to have the best jobs we could ask for - building and shipping ZBoards to customers all over the world.
The intial ZBoard had three wheels - two skateboard wheels in the front and a go-kart wheel in the rear. Each of the large footpads contained three sensors and the onboard speed controller would calculate force and attempt to triangulate location of the force. In later versions we determined that this triangulation process was unnecessary.
The initial name for the ZBoard was the "SmartBoard" which is why you see the stylized "S" in the middle of the deck.
A year later we switched to a more conventional four wheel design. We installed force sensors underneath the grip tap but ran into issues where the sensors would get "stuck down" which obviously was not acceptable.
We thankfully switched to name "ZBoard."
In 2011 we began embedding the ZBoard's force sensors in holes in the deck, protecting them with rubber strips.
Later in 2011 we shifted to flat circular footpads. Finding the sweet spot was easy but we found that our feet hurt after pressing these footpads for long periods of time. We finalized our "Z" logo and selected a black / red color scheme.
2012 - 2013
During our 2012 Kickstarter Project we introduced the ZBoard with a new maple/black design, handle cover, our custom made aluminum battery box, and tilted footpads that allowed the rider to adjust their speed with less effort.
In 2014 we introduced high speed urethane wheels along with headlights and tail lights.
TodayIn 2015 we introduced the ZBoard 2 along with several innovations including a brushless motor, dual handles, a higher top speed, longer range, and more. Check out the ZBoard 2 here.