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DPRG: Radio Controlled Ball

Subject: DPRG: Radio Controlled Ball
From: Jim Brown jgbrown at spd.dsccc.com
Date: Tue Feb 3 10:52:31 CST 1998

Here's a couple of my wacky ideas for a controlled ball
rolling ball idea.
Wacky idea #1:
Have you ever seen those bumble balls and how they sling
themselves around the floor.  I thought, if one could
control the direction of the sling, then the ball could
move in a certain direction.  So say for instance there
were a flywheel in the ball, that had sections on some
sort of solenoids hooked to a mcu.  As the flywheel turned,
when a section reached a certain point, the mcu could
trigger the solenoid so that it's "sling" on that side 
would be greater, and cause a sling in that direction 
for just an instant.  If all the sections were so 
triggered sequentially, the ball would go in that 
direction.  Now, I don't know if this would work, or
how much power of movement it could have, but what if
it were pointed up and had enough power to lift off
of the ground as well.  If there were two flywheels,
then, the ball could move in any 3d direction.
Wacky idea #2:
I remember somewhere that there are some liquids that
get heavy with heat.  If you placed bladders of that
liquid all over the inside of the ball with electrical
heat elements inside, then an mcu could sequentially
turn on and off the bladders to change the center of
gravity and cause the ball to turn.

A varient might be to have solenoids that move a weight
away from a spot on the side of the ball inward.

OK, OK, I'll agree, they're wacky ideas!  My brain
swirls now and then.

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My employer won't claim these opinions so I'm giving them away for free.


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