Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Magnetic Ball Wheel

Using a magenitic metal ball as a wheel replacement.
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While watching the Will Smith movie "I, Robot" (yea I know its a stupid movie, but it just came out, don't judge me!) I saw vehicles which had "metal balls" in place of wheels, and I thought, how the hell would that work, and heres how I think it would work. A hollow metal ball, coated in a gripping surface, with permenant magnets embeded inside the ball, would be contained in a recessed area in the vehicle (the ball well) that would be sized so the ball couldn't fall out, around the inside of the ball well would be place electromagnets, under computer control, would levetate the vehicle away from the ball, and by truning the electromagnets on and off (and reversing their polarity) you could drive the ball in any direction, move all balls forward and you move forward, backward, backward, some forward some backward and you spin, basicly the car could go in any direction it wanted, want to park, just drive sideways, and no flat tires ever again. So what do you think?
Hirudinea, Jun 09 2009

Rolling robot Alternative_20rolli...t_20moon_20explorer
Now here is some food for thought. Eat! Eat damn you! [bungston, Jun 10 2009]

Maglev Sphere Drive http://www.opentt.org/projects/msd/
The website doesn't work other than the homepage, but somebody is working in this direction. [neutrinos_shadow, Jun 10 2009]

Roaming Goldfish Bowl Roaming_20Goldfish_20Bowl
Has it been since 2006 since someone poured brainpower into this hole. The time has come again. Can the fish move the bowl? Ponder the mystery. Ponder, damn you! [bungston, Jun 10 2009]

[link]






       I think point contact area instead of line. I think very little or no traction. I think very low power brakes. I think very, very dangerous cornering (unless you're able to conduct huge torque forces to the balls to restrain side-forces during cornering, without affecting forwards rolling resistance)..   

       etc etc ad nauseum.
Custardguts, Jun 09 2009
  

       /So what do you think?/   

       You mean me? I assumed little robot hamsters were inside those big balls, communicating wirelessly with the driver.   

       If you were magnetically levitating atop a ball containing permanent magnets, and you turned off the electromagnets in back of the ball, the vehicle would fall down onto the ball , pushing it forward (maybe). But the vehicle cannot fall down indefinitely. You could turn the electromagnet back on and come back up, then off and come back down, each time nudging the ball forward a little. Pretty bumpy ride.   

       I think Ling had a posting for a ball-wheeled vehicle around here. Let me look.
bungston, Jun 10 2009
  

       (linky)
It could be done; but, as [Custardguts] points out, there's not much point, and it would be horribly power hungry (electromagnets hold the vehicle up the whole time, as well as counter-acting all acceleration forces).
neutrinos_shadow, Jun 10 2009
  

       I don't agree with that mfd. What if you came up with a great idea for a heisenberg compensator. The name and function would be nothing new. But the actual explanation of how it could be made to work, now that would be a miracle and a novelty.
zeno, Jun 10 2009
  

       I agree with zeno: a legitimate if poorly spelled speculation on how a solid unconnected ball wheel could be made to propel a vehicle.
bungston, Jun 10 2009
  

       Sorry, I'm still a little preoccupied with //its (sic) a stupid movie, but it just came out//. Is there really some part of the world where this film has just come out?
fridge duck, Jun 10 2009
  

       (marked-for-tagline)   

       "It could be done, but...there's not much point, and it would be horribly power-hungry"
normzone, Jun 10 2009
  

       I'm not too happy about the //stupid// part either...
sninctown, Jun 11 2009
  

       It was in a movie, but it appears to be a legitimate attempt to explain how such a thing would function. It's also sufficiently different from the other, similar idea, so I disagree with the mfd as well.
tatterdemalion, Jun 11 2009
  

       oh but screw realism.
WcW, Jun 11 2009
  

       Its all well and good until someone replaces it with an LED wheel, and then later a laser wheel which can provide better resolution and works on a wider variety of surfaces.
miasere, Jun 11 2009
  

       //It just came out\\ [Hirudinea] has been lurking for years and is now posting the ideas he/she had in all those years.
zeno, Jun 11 2009
  

       Just to clear up, when I said "It just came out", I had the IDEA when it came out, I just joined Halfbakery a few days ago.
Hirudinea, Jun 15 2009
  

       // I just joined Halfbakery a few days ago. //   

       RUN ! RUN ! SAVE YOURSELF ! Get out while you can ...... it's too late for us, but you might be able to escape ..... run for the escape capsules, and DON'T LOOK BACK .....
8th of 7, Jun 16 2009
  

       //Ponder the mystery. Ponder, damn you!//   

       [marked-for-tagline]   
      
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