Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Self Levelling Table

and other devices
  [vote for,

The top portion of each leg is a small hydraulic cylinder, a couple centimetres long from which an half-centimetre pipe leads to a central disk-shaped reservoir. Floating in the reservoir is a disk, the edge of which covers the entryways when the table is completely level. When the table isn't completely level, the disk will be tilted, uncovering the holes, allowing hydraulic fluid to flow from the side(s) that are too high to the side(s) that are too low, shortening and lengthening the legs as desired.

Not only is the mechanism completely hidden from view/interference by the tabletop but the bottom of the legs are free of levelling devices, allowing a much cleaner look.

FlyingToaster, Aug 29 2009

Self-levelling walker Self-levelling_20walker
Similar, except mobile [csea, Aug 29 2009]

House_20self-levelling_20system Similar, except bigger [spidermother, Aug 30 2009]

Fluid locking & adjustment technology http://www.youtube....watch?v=4aCXh2djrIo
[xaviergisz, Aug 30 2009]


       what was the first... nevermind, found it.
FlyingToaster, Aug 29 2009

       Shouldn't it more convenient to just employ eccentrics placed in the joints of two adjacent legs? The eccentrics double as stepper motors. The battery doubles as weight and is suspended by springs underneath the tabletop. A contact dial would measure the incline of the weight to activate the motors appropriately to keep the tabletop level. And so on, and so forth. What's the advantage of hydraulics over this method?
rotary, Aug 29 2009

       // What's the advantage of hydraulics //   

       Smoothness, silence, power-to-weight ratio.
8th of 7, Aug 29 2009

       [bigsleep], you don't need any devices to remove a wobble. All you need to do to stabilise a table is rotate it, thanks to our friend the Intermediate Value Theorem.
mitxela, Aug 29 2009

       There are devices for lengthening leg bones which are inserted surgically into the ends of the cut bone, and which slowly extend. If this were combined with FT's idea, we could have a NotFallingOverWhenDrunk machine. [+]
MaxwellBuchanan, Aug 29 2009

       You could do it with a 3-legged table of which 2 legs were telescopic - Then it'd work on uneven surfaces, too. [One big self-levelling bun]
Dub, Aug 29 2009

       Surely stability is the enemy of spilled drinks, and wobble the cause.   

       It will have to be powered, no?
spidermother, Aug 30 2009

       //powered ?//I imagine the anno'd electric ones are, though you could spin the tabletop to generate the power :D   

       the post ? nope, just set it down and jiggle it. Without the disc (ie: if the leg-cylinders were connected directly to each other) all the legs would touch the ground but the tabletop would wobble. The disc keeps the legs from changing length once the tabletop is level by stopping the flow of fluid between the legs.
FlyingToaster, Aug 30 2009

       I was just thinking that unless you used a dense fluid the levelling force might be insignificant compared to slight irregularities in weight of the table top. I suppose you could add some dither - basically wobble the top around by hand, until it locks into place, at which point it would be level.
spidermother, Aug 30 2009

       yup, pretty well, just set it down and jiggle it.   

       Once set it could be manually locked, though if you have a lock you could just have a spirit-level bubble inset in the middle of the tabletop and level it completely, manually, before locking.   

       The force we have to work with to move the disc is its buoyancy in the fluid, working against the friction of the tabs against the reservoir walls, so a perfect disk wouldn't be optimum though it does convey the idea of full coverage and works for any amount and arrangement of legs.   

       An x-pointed star with floats near the end of the arms and tethered to avoid rolling out of place would probably be optimum.
FlyingToaster, Aug 30 2009

       one thing wrong with that idea: elbows.   

       The spirit-level bubble idea works fine without the floating disc(of this idea) and with a manual lock, but then you have to manually level up the table instead of just jiggling it a couple times (and damping isn't necessary on this, either).
FlyingToaster, Aug 30 2009

       I love the idea of the disk floating level in the reservoir, regulating the way the liquid can flow. Brilliant.
loonquawl, Sep 01 2009

       //Shouldn't it more convenient to just employ eccentrics //
Magnus Pike and Chris Eubank?
coprocephalous, Sep 01 2009

       i like the idea of a table that self levels + robotic furniture with a mind of its own i love that.   

       if a table got angry what could it do to you? imagine having a love hate relationship with a table.
vfrackis, Sep 02 2009

       //wax// that could work too except you need an external heat source and (if combine with this idea) would need to heat hydraulic fluid which is spread out to the corners.
FlyingToaster, Sep 02 2009

       and the improvement over the current system is... ?
FlyingToaster, Sep 02 2009

       //going to be moved around restaurants or conference halls regularly//
so you want to be constantly meltng and reforming the wax, as opposed to simply plunking the table down, because....
FlyingToaster, Sep 03 2009

       feel free :)
FlyingToaster, Sep 03 2009

       //Shouldn't it more convenient to just employ eccentrics placed in the joints of two adjacent legs?//   

       Eccentrics are often hard to employ for workaday jobs like this, demanding unusual pay rates, unreliable hours, access to odd invention websites, and lots of isolation for their pet projects.
RayfordSteele, Sep 03 2009

       Simple genius. Run, don't walk, to a patent office [+]
BunsenHoneydew, Sep 03 2009

       //beermats last use theorem// [marked-for-tagline]
FlyingToaster, Sep 03 2009


       Just wiggle it a bit...   

       There are two discrete actions: first is getting all the legs on the ground, second is levelling the tabletop.   

       Realistically you probably wouldn't have to wiggle it: unless you somehow managed to set it down with the tabletop perfectly level, the fluid will flow until all legs are touching the ground. At that point pull up on the low side of the tabletop or push down on the high side until it stops and the tabletop will be level. Add beer pitchers. Enjoy.
FlyingToaster, Sep 03 2009


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