I remember watching one of the Back to the Future sequels when I was a kid. When Michael J. Fox road that hover board around the town square I figured that by time I was "grown up" we would all be riding those things.
Today the skateboards the kids ride around my neighborhood still have wheels just like they did when I was a kid. Researchers at the Shibaura Institute of Technology have developed a high-tech skateboard that is mechanically powered and reminds me more than a bit of a thrashers Segway.
You stand on the device like you would any other skateboard and to move forward you press your front foot and to go backwards you press down with the back foot. Direction is controlled by leaning to the right or left. The thing looks like a carry-on suitcase right now and weighs in at 33 pounds. The researchers hope to cut the weight and have the thing on the market for consumers by 2013 at around $1000.