Sense Sk8

An automatic braking system for out of control longboards.

Team Members


Problem Statement

Longboarding can be considered a sport as well as a mode of transportation. Amongst skating products, the longboard industry is the fastest growing, increasing at a compound annual growth rate of 3.8% from 2019 to 2025 [1]. With the increase in the industry has come an increase in accidents. Downhill longboarding is the most popular discipline of longboarding. It involves riders skating down hills as fast as they can while maintaining control of their board, reaching speeds between 20 and 80 miles per hour [2]. While many accidents, which have to do with the loss of control, put riders in

riders in danger, the cases of putting pedestrians and other parties in danger are not often discussed. Whether it be a rider falling off their board or pushing it forward or backward accidentally, the unmanned boards can travel at high speeds which can put pedestrians, drivers, buildings, and even the board itself in danger in the case of collision. The goal of our system, Sense Sk8, is to introduce a skateboard brake to stop unmanned boards traveling at high speeds automatically.


  • Automatically detect when a user dismounts the board with confidence of 95%
  • At least two safety measures will be utilized to ensure the rider is not affected by the braking system while on the board
  • Communicate ride data to the user and display the data in a phone app
  • If connection to the device is not available 20K bytes of data will be stored about the riders speed
  • Device will last for a minimum of 4 hours and be able to perform a minimum of 10 breaks
  • The device will not exceed a weight of 2 kilograms
  • The device will stop a board going 20 mph in under 15 feet
  • System will have a false negative rate of 5% with a confident level of 95%
  • System will have a false positive rate 1 per hour with a confidence level of 90%


Without Sense Sk8

With Sense Sk8

Testing (Flat Surface -1 degrees)

Testing (Goesmann Ramp -3 degrees)

Testing (Marcus Ramp -7 degrees)











[1] A. Olivero, “Summit County Downhill Skateboarders realize need for summer speed despite risk, rules,”, 22-Jun-2019. [Online]. Available: [Accessed: 01-May-2023]., align-items-center

[2] “Brakeboard - brakes for longboard skateboards. -” [Online]. Available: [Accessed: 01-May-2023].


A special thanks to Professor Kwon for his support and guidance throughout this project. We would also like to thank our evaluators Professor Janaswamy and Professor Pishro-Nik for their valuable input and feedback. This project would not have been possible without the help of Professor Keegan Kuvach, Professor Wouter Schievink, and M5 staff in the makerspace.