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
Tip your server.

idea: add, search, annotate, link, view, overview, recent, by name, random

meta: news, help, about, links, report a problem

account: browse anonymously, or get an account and write.

user:
pass:
register,


                                                     

Umbraloon

Balloon umbrella
  (+14)(+14)
(+14)
  [vote for,
against]

This device would consist of an opaque, helium-filled balloon, large enough to shade a table and it's occupants.

It would be anchored using three cables, which in turn would connect to three motorized reels.

Each cable would be slowly released or reeled in, over the course of the day, so that the balloon's shade is always centered upon the table and occupants.

A computer would control the motors. The computer would be programmed at the time of purchase with longitude, lattitude, time and date, and relative locations of the motors and table... this should be enough for it to know exactly how much cable should be let out from each reel.

Because rays of light from the sun are parallel to each other, the balloon can be arbitrarily high, but still produce a perfectly circular shadow.

goldbb, Jul 01 2009

Prior art. Helicanopy
[2 fries shy of a happy meal, Jul 02 2009]

An even better reason the balloon should be round http://www.treehugg...cool_earth_gets.php
[goldbb, Jul 02 2009]

[link]






       This is just a test to see if somebody fishbones this idea when I write an anno that is both first and neutral. Somebody keeps doing that to me, to make me look like I'm the fishboner.
swimswim, Jul 02 2009
  

       Can't see any problem with that at all, except with the title, which makes me think of a hovering bra which shelters two people from the rain.
nineteenthly, Jul 02 2009
  

       Why the "un" prefix? Is this not either an umbrella or a balloon?   

       (or should that be "not either an umbrella and a balloon"? I never did get de Morgan's)
coprocephalous, Jul 02 2009
  

       It's all about taking away wires, [shitfer]. Also, "un-" isn't always negation, but there's a problen with promoumcimg "nb" anyway.
nineteenthly, Jul 02 2009
  

       So if you just sat to one side or the other of the dark bit, it would be a penunbraloon?
coprocephalous, Jul 02 2009
  

       Swimswim: I'm going to bun this, but mostly because you managed to use the phrase "I'm the fishboner" in a sentence. Nice.
not_only_but_also, Jul 02 2009
  

       Perhaps 'penumbralloon'.
gen1000, Jul 02 2009
  

       unbralloon -> umbralloon, fixed.   

       Actually, it was *supposed* to be umbralloon, but the library was closing whilst I was typing... and the computer logged me off seconds after I'd pressed OK (after writing the idea), so I didn't get a chance to fix it.
goldbb, Jul 02 2009
  

       As for the prior art... they do have the balloon part and shade producing part in common with my idea, but there're a few important differences.   

       Firstly, (the way they're drawn) they're intended to float just a few feet above the head of the person being shaded. This is necessary with an conventional umbrella, since it's supported by a pole, and the higher you go, the less stable it is. But if the anchors as far apart as the balloon is high, the balloon can be (almost) arbitrarily high.   

       Also, the linked ideas, being fairly flat devices, seem fairly unstable with regard to cross winds...   

       I would use instead a spherical (or nearly spherical) balloon, which obviously won't be torqued by the wind unless the wind path is already curved. In other words, a spherical balloon shouldn't twist or flip over unless it's in a tornado.
goldbb, Jul 02 2009
  

       Ah, I see. This is a man-made eclipse-on-demand. Now that's cool [+]. But I suggest you change the name to include some moon reference. Maybe, instead of umbrelloon, you can call it umbrelluna, or something like that... (mumble, mumble... End of a long day for swimswim...)
swimswim, Jul 02 2009
  

       Moonaloon or lunaloon; moonballoon, or lunaballoon; because it's not really an umbrella in the more colloquial rain-blocking sense.
swimswim, Jul 02 2009
  

       There's nothing wrong with the name "umbraloon" -- the definition of umbra (from Merriam-Webster) is:   

       1: a shaded area 2 a: a conical shadow excluding all light from a given source ; specifically : the conical part of the shadow of a celestial body excluding all light from the primary source b: the central dark part of a sunspot
goldbb, Jul 02 2009
  

       Ok, now for an exceptionally halfbaked idea... if the balloon is made out of very clear material, and has a thin lens inside, with an appropriately long focal length, it could act both as a shade, for the people seated at the table, and as a solar cooker, for the food those people are eating.
goldbb, Jul 02 2009
  

       Thanks. I know the definition. Just trying to consider other possibilities.
swimswim, Jul 02 2009
  

       //Hindenburger
If HB ever opens a buger joint, it really must use this name and cook everything with the ubmraloon (or lunaloon).
swimswim, Jul 02 2009
  

       Magnifycent.   

       //it's not really an umbrella in the more colloquial rain-blocking sense//
Interesting, because whereas the English name recalls the shade it provides, the French "parapluie" suggests the rain-shielding function, which leads to the obvious conclusion that the common-or-garden gamp was invented by someone French!
coprocephalous, Jul 03 2009
  

       //If HB ever opens a buger joint//
I do hope that's an 'r', and not a 'g' missing.
coprocephalous, Jul 03 2009
  

       Looks redundant to me, given other ideas listed.
xenzag, Jul 03 2009
  

       ////If HB ever opens a buger joint////
//I do hope that's an 'r', and not a 'g' missing.//
Oops, I meant //bugler joint//, where concerts are put on nightly, and hamboigers are served as refreshment.
swimswim, Jul 03 2009
  

       [nineteenthly] //Can't see any problem with that at all, except with the title, which makes me think of a hovering bra which shelters two people from the rain.// - you make it sound like there would be something wrong with a hovering bra which shelters two people from the rain.
hippo, Jul 03 2009
  

       When I first read this:   

       //It would be anchored using three cables, which in turn would connect to three motorized eels.//   

       I think you may have missed a trick there but I'm bunning it anyway.
wagster, Jul 03 2009
  

       Neat, just cover the thing with solar panels to make it self-powered and I'll buy it.
Hirudinea, Jul 03 2009
  

       // man-made eclipse-on-demand. //   

       Why not use a Grand Piano ?   

       // programmed at the time of purchase with longitude, lattitude, time and date //   

       If the controller has GPS it will be able to calculate the azimuth and right ascension for the sun ay that loaction at any given time. All it needs then is a tracking photocell to give it the actual sun position and after that the math is easy (if you're skilled at solving sperical trigonometry porblems algebraically, that is).   

       If it was a black, solar-heated balloon, you wouldn't need the helium, which is expensive and would diffuse out anyway.   

       // the balloon can be arbitrarily high, but still produce a perfectly circular shadow //   

       Go to Jail. Go directly to Jail. Do not pass Go. Do not collect 200 primary units of your local currency.   

       As the position of the sun moves towards the horizon from the observer's perspective, the shadow cast by a sphere on the surface of your puny little planet will become elipsoidal......
8th of 7, Jul 03 2009
  
      
[annotate]
  


 

back: main index

business  computer  culture  fashion  food  halfbakery  home  other  product  public  science  sport  vehicle