Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Counterbalance World

Your own little weightless world.
 
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Securely held by a paratrooper's body straps, and with a counterbalance adjusted to match your weight, you are free to walk, run, leap high and float slowly down again. Hop up to pick some high apples or just enjoy the view.
With Version A counterbalance, (see link below), your range is restricted to a circle about the central tower. Version B has a double counterbalance, allowing you to rotate about the end of a main balance arm. You can then move anywhere within an annular area centered on the tower. To balance this, the other end of the main beam has a smaller beam which is kept in synch with the smaller beam supporting you. Thus the whole remains in balance as you rotate and the main beam rotates. Both can pivot vertically as well. Drawing is a little sketchy, sorry.
Things to do with your new counterbalance:
Basic joyful low-gravity fun. Adjust balance such that you have slight effective weight of a few ounces. You can jump 30 feet in the air, hop over trees, etc. Note that balance can have safety "slow descent" feature, a dashpot that allows max downward speed.
Almost weightless, you could strap on bird wings and create enough lift to fly. If you can figure out how to move them. Same with insect wings. How do those butterflies manage to fly with those flat wings?
When you are tired of playing bird, add a hand control and electric motors to the tower beams at the pivots move you wherever you want within the allowable envelope of movement. Then you can do practical stuff like trimming hedges, picking fruit, cultivating fields, warehouse order picking.
Got some more money? Mount the tower on a truck, go wherever, paint houses, wash windows. But watch out for the wires! Need lots of open space for this thing.
Might mount centered on your house roof. Go anywhere around your yard, if your yard happens to be circular.
flypaper, Aug 29 2003

Counterbalance World http://home.earthli.../counterbalance.gif
Side views of Vers A and B. [flypaper, Oct 04 2004, last modified Aug 07 2009]

Good place to practice with prototypes http://www.sodaplay.com/constructor/
[thumbwax, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 21 2004]

[link]






       I want one of these. Welcome to the bakery! (WTAGIPBAN)
krelnik, Aug 29 2003
  

       Also terribly useful for controlling the whereabouts of children.   

       If you eliminate the tower and replace it with a line stretched out like a clothesline, you could have a counter-balanced "dog-run."
RayfordSteele, Aug 29 2003
  

       mobile moi +
FarmerJohn, Aug 29 2003
  

       Wheeee! <places bun on top of idea and floats back down>
k_sra, Aug 29 2003
  

       Think of the sport opportunities! CB Tennis, CB Volleyball, etc..
gardnertoo, Aug 29 2003
  

       Mount it at the edge of a pool for those who want to jump from the 10ft board, but don't really dare because it hurts so much when they belly flop.
kbecker, Aug 29 2003
  

       Halfbakery amusement park shoe in.   
      
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