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DPRG: Radio Controlled Ball

Subject: DPRG: Radio Controlled Ball
From: Eric B. Olsen robojoc at worldnet.att.net
Date: Tue Feb 3 20:38:19 CST 1998

Another possibility:

It might be that as the sun hits that portion of the wheel, it expands.
Because this portion of the wheel is now farther from the center of the
wheel, the effective torque that is applied to the center of the wheel from
the weight is greater then the opposing torque generated from lifting the
(smaller) side of the wheel up.

Eric Olsen


Kipton Moravec wrote:

> Jim Brown wrote:
> >
> > > Liquids that get heavy with heat?  Sounds fishy to me.
> > > E=mc^2 so you would need quite a bit of energy (heat)
> > > to convert to matter (mass) to make a significant weight
> > > shift.
> >
> > Yep, believe it or not.  I saw something on PBS where
> > someone constructed a huge wheel that was supposed to
> > turn a generator by allowing the sun to heat up the top
> > of the wheel which caused it to turn to the bottom.  There
> > were several sections and as the wheel turned, the next
> > section would be on top, get heated and turn to the bottom.
> > However, as you said, the process was so slow that it
> > never "turned" a profit!  ;-)
>
> Hmmm, I am no thermodynamics expert, but I would guess it heated up some
> liquid or air and changed the center of gravity by pushing a weight that
> was in the relative center of the wheel.
>
> >
> > > On a similar note I saw an idea of a rolling ball that used
> > > air bladders. It was an idea for a Mars lander. With a
> > > controller inflating/deflating indiviual air bladders
> > > to create motion.  The air bladders were arranged in
> > > pie-shaped sections like a giant wheel.  The idea could
> > > be extended to a ball for motion in any direction.
> > > I would not expect it to move much faster than a snail's pace
> > > but still a neat idea.
> > >
> > > -Clay Timmons
> >
> > Yeah, but the best selling point is that it doubles as a
> > whoopie cushion!  ;-)
> >
> > Probably the same technique could be used to make an
> > air bladder snake that could crawl across the ground?
>
> If you wanted to do this, I would try a ball with a bunch of solenoids
> poking out of it. To start rolling actuate a solenoid to push the ball
> rolling.  You will need something to let you know which way is up so you
> will know which one to activate for the direction you will want to go.
>
> Regards,
> Kip



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