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

Or atleast the top, anyway
  (+6, -1)
(+6, -1)
  [vote for,

Tri-(and mono)-pods, in my experience, have never been quite as exact as I would like. They are generally granted movement by myriad hinges set around the top, or by a ball and socket joint.
This invention allows a perfectly smooth movement and a solid position once it has been chosen. Inside the head of the tripod is a pool of electrorheological fluid (see link), the mount for the camera has the usual threaded metal attachment on the top, but the other end of it is submerged in the pool of fluid and branches out - thereby increasing its surface area.
On the side of the tripod head can be found a switch, which, when set to the on position allows an electric current into the pool of fluid, thus solidifying it and maintaining a solid mount for the camera at the exact angle required.
fridge duck, Jan 27 2006

Electro fluid http://www.ust.hk/e...e_pa031008-750.html
[fridge duck, Jan 27 2006]

More information http://www.findarti...i_n6137968#continue
[fridge duck, Jan 27 2006]

Miller Fluid Head Tripod http://millertripod...index.cfm?sectid=10
an Aussie original [Cube, Jan 28 2006]


       Errr... what link?   

       Sorry about the tardiness, I'm still stuck with my victorian - age dial up connection.
fridge duck, Jan 27 2006

       Are there states of increased viscosity available between the fluid and solid states?
bristolz, Jan 27 2006

       A bit of research later, and the answer is yes - second link.
fridge duck, Jan 27 2006

       Then it'll probably work well.
bristolz, Jan 27 2006

       MR fluids - ya gotta love them. Liquid to solid in no time flat.   

       The only problem I can see with your design, is the power consumption required to keep the MR fluid solid.   

       There is one way around this: use a permanent magnet to keep your fluid solid on a continuous basis, but without power consumption. When you wish to move the tripod head, press the power button, and activate an electromagnet designed to cancel the permanent magnet and allow the MR fluid to change into a liquid. Release the button, and your unpowered tripod will remain locked in place. I know this can be done because I've read about examples, but have never seen it applied to a tripod.   

       + for coolness factor.
TIB, Jan 27 2006

       Intriguing. Must get some, and play with it.
moomintroll, Jan 27 2006

       Australian Eric Miller invented a fluid head tripod in 1946 that is now a motion picture industry standard. How this would be an improvement on that design escapes me.   

       The referenced articles on MR fluid point to a problem with fluid contamination and as any camerman will tell you, tripods are often used in less than sterile conditions. The power system required to electrically adjust the fluid viscosity would complicate the function of the tripod and increase the number of batteries in the camera package. To be truly versatile, the tripod head you envison should also be able to be moved to different sizes of 'sticks' such as 'baby legs' and 'hi-hats.'   

       Televison programming shot in the controlled environs of the studio set commonly use cameras mounted on hydraulic pedestals with hand cranked gears providing smooth and accurrate pan and tilt movements.
Cube, Jan 28 2006

       I also wish to write a very long paragraph about how very wrong you are and how very sad and lonely I am, but I quite frankly can't be arsed.   

       Plus, it's a good idea, and it doesn't really matter if it's a little impractical, some of the best ideas on here are much more impractical. And there's always some flash git with more money than sense willing to buy any old junk, let alone something as cool as this.
quaero curvus, Jun 12 2006


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