Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
h a l f b a k e r y
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Dancing Susan

No longer lazy anymore
 
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(Please bear with the length of this.)

To save time in explaination I will encorporate this model into the table. Hey, if a lazy susan can be embedded into a table so can the dancing susan. Future designs will change dramatically and even current technology will allow for this device to be independent of the table but not with the grace that I need.

The top of the table is covered with the pressure sensor sheet found in PDA's and by each place setting is a small digital screen.

If you don't know how those work, I shall explain. Two sheets of conductive material matrix have a sandwich of liquid and small ball berrings in the middle. When you apply force from the top, the liquid an the ball berrings escape that area and the two layers touch each other creating a small circuit in that area. That circuit is assigned a number and the computer is programmed to relate that to a place or command.

In the table are robotic arms with multiple rotating magnets at the tips. Serving dishes with casters and RFIDs on them tell the table how many dishes are on the table and where they are in relation to the other objects on the table. Each serving dish with an RFID also has a corresponding color on some part of it's outer plastic shell. So when they are placed onto the table, the table will recognize them and put the name of the color next to a little icon on the screen at the place settings.

When you push a button corresponding to the dish on the table, the robotic magnetic arm underneath moves it along to your setting. Three RF recievers help the table triangulate the first positions of the moving dishes. The rotating magnets can spin the dishes around each other to chang position and save space.

Dishes in use will be marked by two other means. By making the casters uneaven they will woble when touched thus making an uneaven pattern in the table sensoring or also an RFID serving utensil will triangulated over one of the dishes and it will have a few mercury switchs in it.

As you can see this idea has much room to improve. Future models of dishes could talk to each other and triangulate where they are themselves and better visual sensors could help to make the dances more complex. Dishes could take themselves off the table for a robot to carry them to the dishwasher. Future tables could also set themselves in various setting styles.

sartep, Aug 29 2003

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       Will I still be able to yank off the table cloth without smashing any dishes?   

       It won't have to rest, it can just move around, (UB).
sartep, Aug 29 2003
  
      
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