Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Use magnets to generate electricity
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There are some flashlights that run by using electricity generated by shaking them. I propose putting these same magnets in basket, soccer, football, or tennis balls to power leds that would light up the ball for night use or just to make them look cool. Sure there are glow in the dark balls, but those wear off after a little while. Heck, you could even use the generated electricity to charge small batteries within the balls that could then power other devices.
acurafan07, Mar 25 2007

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       And the wobbling weight would make the balls bounce funny! Might actually make the game interestin............. zzzzzzz
Galbinus_Caeli, Mar 25 2007

       True, but a system large enough to power simple LEDs or even charge a small battery would be much smaller than the actual ball itself (if the ball was a football, soccer ball or basketball), meaning that as long as the system was in the center of the ball and connected perhaps by small rods to the rest, there would still be room for a lot of air.
acurafan07, Mar 25 2007

       I think making the surface material transparent while retaining all of the ball's usual characteristics would be the hard part. If this were possible, I'd be happy with just the transparent ball (without the lights).
xaviergisz, Mar 25 2007

       Fiberoptics. The light would shine through them, but the ball wouldn't exactly be transparent (ie you wouldn't be able to see the magnets or electronics inside)
acurafan07, Mar 25 2007

       Not as long as they are in the center of the ball where the air is (rather than the surface, where they would be susceptable to damage).
acurafan07, Mar 26 2007

       Even if they are in the center, they still are susceptible to acceleration (and hence possible damage) -- but since there _is_ working electronics in, say, anti-aircraft missiles, I'm sure it's just the matter of the price :)   

       I wonder, though, if static electricity could be used somehow? Like having the ball made of patches with different properties, so that the charge is accumulated by patches of one type and then drained through LEDs on the patches of the other type.
xipetotec, Mar 26 2007

       Perhaps this idea should be re-done so that the magnetics charge a battery which can be used to power anything, and the LED part should be removed.
acurafan07, Mar 26 2007

       The LEDs can be sturdy; there are toy "blinkie" balls made of clear rubber with LEDs within.   

       You could have a bunch of LEDs distributed around just underneath the surface, so that when the ball is set spinning they create a 2D image. This would be too small for most people to read, though.
IJK, Mar 26 2007

       Instead of using a linear generators (for most types of balls), I propose using some type of generator that can generate electricity in any direction. It could be done by having a some type of suspended 'ball' in the center, one half of the ball would be very weighty and the other half would be very light weight. The ball would have magnets in it and would be surrounded by coils.
BJS, Mar 27 2007


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