Shane Chen

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Shane Chen
Shane Chen crop.jpg
Born(1956-02-10)February 10, 1956
Alma materBeijing Agricultural University
Occupation(s)Founder of Inventist, Inc.
Known forInventor of Orbitwheel Skates, UltraDrainer, Lunicycle, Self-balancing unicycle and Self-balancing hoverboard

Shane Chen (Chinese: 陈星;[1] born 10 February 1956 in Beijing, China) is a Chinese-American inventor and entrepreneur based in Camas, WA USA.[2] He is best known for inventing the self-balancing hoverboard.[3][4]

Early life and education[edit]

Chen grew up in Beijing, China and attended Beijing Agricultural University for a degree in agricultural meteorology.[5] A difficult environment for starting and growing businesses in mid-1980s China led Chen to immigrate to America in search of better opportunities.[6]

Career and inventions[edit]

In 1988 he founded CID, Inc. (now called CID Bio-Science), to develop scientific instruments for plant and agricultural research.[7] Specific products in the field included photosynthesis meter, a leaf scanner and a plant canopy analyzer.[8] During that time Chen worked with NASA and developed a special leaf area meter that was sent to space used in Mir space station. Chen sold CID in 2009 to become a full-time inventor of consumer products.[9][10]

In 2003 Chen founded Inventist, Inc., a company he started as an avenue with which he could develop more mainstream ideas and inventions. Entering the retail marketplace in ‘03, Chen introduced the AquaSkipper,[11] a human-powered hydrofoil watercraft. The AquaSkipper won many awards including being a finalist at ISPO BrandNew awards, and it was featured on The History Channel's Modern Marvels as part of an invention competition.[12] Next, Chen developed and patented a three-wheeled scooter and licensed the design to RazorUSA in 2006.[13][14]

Chen continued to develop other consumer products notably the Orbitwheel Skates, UltraDrainer, Lunicycle, Solowheel and Hovertrax.[15]

He has ongoing problems with illegally made copies of his products, which are being produced and distributed worldwide out of China.[16][17][18]

Solowheel development (A spinning wheel)[edit]

In March 2010, he filed a provisional patent for Solowheel, a self-balancing electric unicycle,[19] using a gyroscopic sensors to balance the unit in the direction of travel.

The Solowheel won numerous awards including 2011 ISPO Bike BrandNew finalist in Munich, Germany and 2012 INPEX Invention Trade Show first runner-up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.[12] It has been featured on The Weather Channel[20] and Bloomberg TV in 2011.[21] In 2012 on MLB Fan Cave[22] and The Doctors TV show.

Hovertrax development[edit]

In February 2012, a provisional patent application was filed for the Hovertrax.[3] The patent was granted in 2014.

The Hovertrax was released to the public in 2013.[23][24] The Hovertrax was the first self-balancing scooter of the type that become known as hoverboards.


  1. ^ 对话独轮平衡车鼻祖陈星:行业与共享单车没有市场对立
  2. ^ "The Unusual Personal Transportation Designs of Shane Chen". Core77. Retrieved 2015-12-08.
  3. ^ a b Two-wheel, self-balancing vehicle with independently movable foot placement sections, retrieved 2015-12-29
  4. ^ "With Solowheel, Shane Chen's Inventist company plans to expand". Retrieved 2015-12-08.
  5. ^ "The Inventist life – A look at the creations of a Chinese 'tinkerer'". South China Morning Post. Retrieved 2015-09-30.
  6. ^ "How Does Your Garden Grow?". HighBeam. The Columbian. Archived from the original on 2016-03-13. Retrieved 2015-12-29.
  7. ^ "Blossoming Business". Daily Journal of Commerce. 18 December 1995.
  8. ^ "Electronic Botanical Instrument Firm Locating in Camas". 12 December 1995 – via Camas-Washougal Post Record.
  9. ^ "Inventive mind keeps on turning". Newspaper. The Columbian. 3 May 2011. Archived from the original on 16 April 2016.
  10. ^ Schnuer, Jenna. "How This Man Turned His Passion Into His Profession". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved 24 October 2016.
  11. ^ "Rolling into the Future with Inventist Shane Chen". VICE. Retrieved 2015-12-08.
  12. ^ a b "Camas resident will feature latest invention at national show". Newspaper. 5 June 2012 – via Camas-Washougal Post Record.
  13. ^ "PowerWing – Caster Driven, Ride-Ons, Side-To-Side Ride". Razor. Retrieved 2015-12-29.
  14. ^ "Powerwing Patent".
  15. ^ Schnuer, Jenna (4 November 2015). "How This Man Turned His Passion Into His Profession". Retrieved 28 September 2016.
  16. ^ "For Solowheel maker, a patent rights nightmare in China". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 2015-09-30.
  17. ^ Bock, Pauline. "The hoverboard inventor isn't bitter about copycats". Wired UK. Retrieved 28 September 2016.
  18. ^ Mims, Christopher (20 December 2015). "How 'Hoverboards' Epitomize Our Broken Patent System". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 28 September 2016.
  19. ^ US Patent 8,807,250
  20. ^ Weather Channel Earth Day Green Gadgets, retrieved 2011-04-22
  21. ^ Brustein, Joshua. "U.S. Marshals Raid Hoverboard Booth at CES". Retrieved 24 October 2016.
  22. ^ Gay, Jason. "Here Comes the One-Wheel Reliever". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2015-12-29.
  23. ^ McGreal, Chris (8 January 2016). "The inventor of the hoverboard says he's made no money from it". The Guardian. Retrieved 28 September 2016.
  24. ^ Jr., Robert (7 February 2023). "When Were Hoverboards Invented?". RideOnLab. Retrieved 6 February 2023.

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