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Gyroscope alternatives

All of the functionality with none of the complicated mechanics
(+6, -6)
  [vote for,

Gyroscopes are great for stability when linked to computers and complex machinery but surely there's an easier way.

Imagine if you will, a ship's cargo compartment filled with cats and one dog on rollerscates. The dog would roll down hill as the ship rolled and the cats, being natually scared of dogs would run up hill, rightnig the ship. This would work especially well on a cargo ship transporting chickens where a fox on skates could be used. On the high seas there would be inevitable casualties as the nimble fox snapped at passing hens, but it would be inhumane to muzzle the fox.

marklar, Oct 26 2006


       Ship rolls to starboard, dog rolls to starboard, cats run up the starboard hill, ship capsizes, dog wishes there was an easier way, dog imagines gyro but drowns before fully conveying the concept to a gull. Tragic, really.
Shz, Oct 26 2006

       This idea has somehow summed up my life. This is much, much more than just an idea; it's almost a religion.
Crackpot, Oct 26 2006

       But what if the dog can skate ? Or had a rocket-powered jetpack ?
Raithah, Oct 26 2006

       //rollerscates// sp. Need I say more?
zigness, Oct 27 2006

       [marklar], I think I owe you an explanation: I thought I had added comment, and it had been deleted. I would have put money on the fact that it was just after [Crackpot]'s comment, but I am advised that such a comment never existed, so I must assume that my mind is playing tricks on me. Sorry for the confusing response.   

       The original comment? Nothing much: just a note to say that this is like running on a log, so I don't think it would work.
Ling, Oct 31 2006

       I certainly don't delete posts, I haven't even corrected the spelling mistake.   

       I can see that my idea is not perfect, but the animal kindom is vast and varied, surely there must be some critter we can lampoon for our own devious ends.   

       Conceivably, Lemmings could be used if you could find some way of convincing them that the way to the cliff was uphill.   

       a friend suggested a goat on a dome with a series of wires running from a helmet.
marklar, Oct 31 2006

       Dogs are reasonably easy to train, so you could have a system which used just dogs, trained to run uphill. Then as the ship lists, the movement of the pack of dogs to the 'uphill' side of the ship would correct the balance. The dogs' behaviour would be rewarded by extremely fattening treats (you want to keep them heavy).
hippo, Oct 31 2006

       Something (not much) like this exists already. It is called a flume tank. Half filled with water, it creates a free-surface that sloshes to one end when the ship rolls, causing a time-delayed push just when the ship was about to right itself. This causes the rolls to be out-of-sync with the forces causing the roll, and avoids resonance. Maybe you cauld improve on that system using sharks and swimmers. Or hippos . . . yes hippos would be good. As for the rollerskates, the wheels would quickly become fouled with cat litter.
skegger, May 09 2009


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