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Foam Zorb

Sandwich the rider inside a large foam ball.
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The top half of the foam sphere cracks open like Pacman opening his mouth. The rider slides into this crack where he can insert his legs and lower body into legholes.

Then, the rider straps his torso into a harness attached to the rear surface. This harness prevents him from sliding upward.

The front surface has armholes. The rider inserts his arms to reach handles. He can then pull the clamshell closed.

In front of the rider's face is a tunnel for breathing and comfort. At the end of the tunnel is a pinhole camera so that the only visible break in the foam on the outside is a pinhole (the pinhole is actually much smaller than the breathing holes). The pinhole projects a wide field of view image onto a circular projection screen.

Unlike an inflatable zorb, this foam vehicle can't deflate. It also provides better shock protection, with forces evenly spread across the entire body.

It's essentially a big Nerf ball, so it can even be launched from a compressed air launcher.

IJK, Mar 19 2007

Skydiving spheres Skydiving_20spheres
[MaxwellBuchanan, Mar 19 2007]

[link]






       If you're giving up the visibility inherent in the regular Zorb, at least make it worth the effort - encase it in Kevlar or some other battlefield-ready material.
DrCurry, Mar 19 2007
  

       With a sufficiently large foam zorb, one could presumably skydive quite safely sans parachute. Terminal velocity would be quite low (I think it could easily be gotten down to <60mph), at which speed one could probably land with an exhilerating but survivable bounce.   

       The drawbacks would be limited maneuverability in freefall (ie, limited in the sense of zero), and virtually no interesting sensation after the first few moments of apparent weightlessness.
MaxwellBuchanan, Mar 19 2007
  

       Someone suggested skydiving Zorbs previously, so you might want to look up that thread.
DrCurry, Mar 19 2007
  

       Ah yes, Dr. Curry, you'are right [link]. Nobody really resolved the calculations regarding sphere diameter on that one. They were calculating for "comfortable" landing speed, whereas in fact the foam zorb would allow a much higher safe landing speed. And, since wind resistance goes as the square (??) of velocity, you could get away with a much smaller sphere.
MaxwellBuchanan, Mar 19 2007
  

       You could encase it in something like Kevlar to make it bulletproof and RPG-proof, and maybe even roadside bomb-proof (the foam absorbs blast).   

       Indeed, you could turn the suit into a "Zorb-Orion" vehicle. This vehicle incorporates some fuel spray nozzles around the vehicle. To produce thrust, a bit of fuel is sprayed to make a fuel-air mixture and then it's detonated. Road-side bombs? The Zorb-Orion suit laughes at the threat! It uses dozens of explosions per second just to fly around! To conserve fuel, the explosions could be used sparingly for horizontal rolling motion.   

       But...how is this invincible mobile jump trooper supposed to fight? He's wildly spinning around in this foam ball with no real visibility. The spinning ball is a lousy gun platform.   

       Maybe the soldier could operate remote controlled weapons platforms, and he uses his own amazing mobility only to escape from enemy threats.
IJK, Mar 20 2007
  

       Difficult to do both those last two things when you can't see out.   

       Why not just be elsewhere?
Texticle, Mar 20 2007
  

       Why not indeed...it's really hard to imagine spinning around in an armored Zorb being of any value on the battlefield. The above is about as close as I could get, but it's still entirely silly.
IJK, Mar 20 2007
  
      
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