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There is an ancient toy made and sold by the vendors in Mexico called a Jacobs ladder. [link]
I had never heard of them but my daughter bought one... and now I play with it.
It dawned on me that the same downward oscillating wave pattern, caused by articulating the upper block and continued by
gravity, could be made to behave in a similar fashion, but horizontally, by manipulating the bands which hold the blocks together.
Replacing the keel of a boat with this gadget would create a propulsion system with minimal vibration, no cavitation and wouldn't cause both the wee and large porpoises to beach themselves from the noise pollution.
[2 fries shy of a happy meal, Apr 20 2012]
Now with added Tim Robbins [4whom, Apr 21 2012]
Now with added electrons [4whom, Apr 21 2012]
just fascinating to watch [4whom, Apr 22 2012]
||//wouldn't cause both the wee and large porpoises to beach themselves//
||That'd take all the fun out of it!
||Alternatively, you could rig some piezo-electrics on the beach and use the electricity generated by beaching marine mammals to power your vessel?
||How exactly do you "manipulate the bands" to get a propulsive motion out of this?
||Beaching mammals do not generate enough energy to justify the expense of blowing up their carcasses.
||//How exactly do you "manipulate the bands"//
<hoped that wouldn't show up, should have known better>
If you look at the connective bands between each slat of the Jacob's ladder the bands intersect each other in a descending X shape as the slats hinge. Mechanised shuttles could force this movement in either direction using the bands as belts. As long as the leading slat is buffered against drag, or hinged itself like a bird wing, then the push will outweigh the drag...