Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Self bouncing ball

Throw it on the ground and it will bounce until the batteries run out.
  (+16, -1)(+16, -1)
(+16, -1)
  [vote for,

Inspired by the "magic" comments on the ball that bounces higher and higher.

Imagine a ball which has a cylinder and piston mounted inside it. This arrangement works in the following way:
1. Compress the air in the cylinder. At the same time, the remaining air in the ball is decompressed.
2. Decompress the air in the cylinder. At the same time the remaining air in the ball is compressed.
The total air volume in the ball remains unchanged.
The piston in the cylinder is powered by a motor and battery.

At rest, the ball is slightly de-pressurised. When the ball hits the ground, an electronic pressure gauge detects the rapid increase in pressure, and the piston is moved to rapidly compress the ball. This gives the additional push in the return bounce.
After the bounce, the ball is decompressed, again.

Of course, the ball must be designed so that the battery can be changed (or recharge it through inductive technology).

The advantage of this method over an oscillating weight is that this method works in all directions automatically.
Ling, Dec 19 2004

(?) I like the gas cylinder ideas http://www.innovati...z.com/cylinder.html
Reference material [Ling, Dec 21 2004]


       Maybe it could be powered from a CO2 cartridge?
tiromancer, Dec 19 2004

       this wouldn't work in space.
benfrost, Dec 19 2004

       This is air bag technology. In a milli-second only a cartridge could inflate the ball, then the the ball is decompressed in the seconds it is in the air by the pump, back into the cartridge?
mensmaximus, Dec 19 2004

       [benfrost], I'm afraid you've found the weak point in my cunning plan. But it would work in the Space Station.
Ling, Dec 19 2004

       Sounds like a candidate for Home:Cat:Entertainment.
wagster, Dec 19 2004

       I'm just impressed that we have a 'sport: bouncing' category.
RayfordSteele, Dec 19 2004

       // The total air volume in the ball remains unchanged.// I was envisioning an elastic ball filled with air at a higher pressure than ambient, and where the pressure and volume is increased when it hits the ground. “Decompressed” would mean less than average ball pressure (outside the piston)?
FarmerJohn, Dec 19 2004

       [Benfrost / Ling] That's a good line...perhaps a good default line for an idea you'd really like to contribute an anno to but don't really have anything to say.
normzone, Dec 19 2004

       Basically, it's a self-contained spherical pogostick.   

       Smooth. Like butter on ice.
shapu, Dec 20 2004

       I think the batteries would run out first.
Ling, Dec 20 2004

       It'd be great in an asteroid field.
shapu, Dec 20 2004

       Compressed gas cartridge, valve to vent cartridge into ball, valve to vent ball into open air, pressure sensor measuring pressure in ball. Voila!
furmobile, Dec 21 2004

       Good ideas from [mensmaximus] and [furmobile]. See link for CO2 cartridge info.
Go one step further: Store Propane and Oxygen in small cylinders. Using the basic principle explained by [furmobile], ignite a small mixture mid-bounce and watch your ball disappear.
Now if only there was a way to use gas, benzene, petroleum, whatever you call it, and introduce fresh air after every bounce, without storing it inside the ball. That would be lightweight, because then there would be no pressure cylinders inside.
Ling, Dec 21 2004

       Try mounting an electric motor that's geared to a strait rack. Both motor and batery pack travel the length of the rack, back and fourth on the ball's diameter. When the ball is first dropped, the motor and batery weight will drop to the bottom of the rack and trip a switch that quickly sends it back to the top producing a 'bounce'.   

       Now, if the rack were gimbaled inside the ball so it always points up, then no matter rotation of the ball, it would always bounce straight up. Add a gyro to the gimabal and you could direct the ball.
Embeecon, Jan 05 2006

       It could be made smart enough to challenge in a game of Basketball or Soccer.
Voice, Jul 16 2014

       I wonder if electron/ion charge repulsion surfaces can change shape enough to supply the pressure needed?
wjt, Jul 17 2014

       With sol on it's last burns and humanity scattered to new horizons, on a pitted court, in empty city, a lone boingpsss,... boingpsss,... carries on, till the darkness envelopes.
wjt, Jul 17 2014


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