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Furniture “Mud Flaps”

Where oh where have my little toys gone?
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If you have a toddler or a cat or a dog in the house (or perhaps one of each), fetching toys out from under furniture is a common chore. This can be quite troublesome under armoires and sofas that typically have a very small gap underneath.

I propose a flexible flap that hangs down beneath the piece of furniture, fitted on a hinge. It will be placed far enough back from the edge so as not to ruin the aesthetic effect of the design. There is a small micro-switch or sensor that can tell when something hits the flap, and a solenoid or other actuator to give the flap a small “push” toward the front of the furniture.

Now when those toys go astray, the motorized flap will “kick” them back out from under the furniture, into the room.

Fewer lost toys result, and boy will it entertain the hell out of your cat.

krelnik, Feb 22 2004

Pinball Wizard? nice... http://users.cis.net/sammy/pinball.htm
[po, Oct 05 2004, last modified Oct 17 2004]

Magnificent Marble Machine http://www.curtalliaume.com/mmm.html
Add flippers and you have it made [Klaatu, Oct 05 2004, last modified Oct 17 2004]

[link]






       like Pinball Wizard? Yes!
po, Feb 22 2004
  

       if you ever need a pen in my house, you'll find it with the remote controls under the sofa, where Pete or Dud have helpfully patted it. +
jonthegeologist, Feb 22 2004
  

       I like it. I guess there would have to be four of them per chair?
half, Feb 22 2004
  

       Yes. (Unless it is against a wall, then just three).
krelnik, Feb 22 2004
  

       Finally, Automatic Marble Return!
phundug, Feb 22 2004
  

       and it seems to me that the intermittent shushing motion will likely sweep dust and things out from under the settee. I like it - now I won't have to move my furnture as often when I vacumn.
seedy em, Feb 22 2004
  

       Great idea! But for version 2.0, would you consider a change from the actuated mud flap design to the horizontal windshield wiper design? That way, instead of just rebuffing the occasional errant ball or dropped pen at the fringe, the wiper can sweep the entire area beneath the sofa, bed or chair to remove the occasional dropped kernel of popcorn, pesky spider webs, and self-proliferating dust-bunnies and furballs.   

       The wiper should have both the immediate sensor-actuated response that you describe to handle regular activity, as well as a nightly or weekly pre-programmed timed feature to take care of that deep cleaning without moving the furniture.
jurist, Feb 23 2004
  

       Excellent, [krelnik]. ACFKFLK.
lintkeeper2, Feb 23 2004
  

       [johnthegeologist] so you have a "not only, but also" video under your couch? Or are you cat's named pete and dud?
reap, Feb 23 2004
  

       Great, this'll entertain my kids for hours. [+]
oxen crossing, Feb 24 2004
  

       //...and boy will it entertain the hell out of your cat.//   

       Boy, will it! - bun, ]krelnik[ {+}
Letsbuildafort, Feb 24 2004
  

       [reap] ... happy to confirm that my two cats are called Pete and Dud. They're quite similar to the original two.
jonthegeologist, Feb 24 2004
  

       ... but considerably furrier
hazel, Feb 24 2004
  

       I don't want to have to plug in my couch or replace it's batteries (or take it into the shop if it starts flapping constantly). Just a "shield" that keeps things from going further back than a couple of inches wouldn't push it back but would save you from having to lift the couch up every time you needed to find some kid's lost shoe.
troyrock, May 04 2004
  

       Well granted, that would be more practical. But its not really halfbaked, is it? <grin>
krelnik, May 24 2004
  
      
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