Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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roller coaster ride with every axis left free to spin
  [vote for,

First off, I've searched to see if this is baked or not, but could not find any evidence....

Rather than having a roller coaster that rides on or under the tracks, have one that rides "in" the tracks. However, the cars are not linked up together. Each coaster is just a single-rider transparent ball that rolls through an enclosure of pipes.

Inside the ball is your chair that you are strapped in to. The chair has struts protruding from all directions on it that press up against the inside of your big, rolling ball. BUT, each of these struts have a small roller wheel mounted on the end of them.

The result is that your big ball is free to rotate and roll through the pipe track enclosure, and the chair itself can rotate inside the ball.

For added spinning effects while going through corners, the chair structure would be such that your centre of gravity is not in the geometric centre of the big ball. That way when curving through corners, you'd get this weird wobbling wavy motion as your body is pushed through the turns.

With a rotating/rolling body (you and your chair) set inside another rotating/rolling body (the big ball) you might get some neat-o motions going on.

Unlike the traditional roller coaster, every ride would be unique, as you could enter turns situated backwards, forwards, facing the sky, ground, etc., not to mention the fact that you'd be able to see all around you.

The whole idea of riding "in" the track might allow for more elaborate track design, such as corkscrews that occur in a straight line.

Wes, Feb 02 2001

Zorb -- Inflatable human hamster ball http://www.zorb.com/thumbnails.htm
Now all we need is Giant Human Habitrails... [rmutt, Feb 02 2001, last modified Oct 17 2004]


       Sounds like a combination of the "Zipper" (The oblong ferris-wheel type thing where all of the cars are free to rotate. Great for getting in a car with a friend, spinning the heck out of it, and getting him to puke!) and a roller coaster!
mwburden, Feb 02 2001

       Hey, I've got an idea - instead of the rider being inside a ball, how about using one of those three-axis pivots! You know the thing I'm talking about - like they had the VR suits attached to in _Lawnmower Man_!   

       This would give you the free rotation your looking for, while still giving the rider the feel of the wind in his/her face (and other places, depending on which way up they are at the time!)
mwburden, Feb 02 2001

       or you could have the ball be mesh or wiffle style.
nick_n_uit, Feb 03 2001

       Actually, there's a reason why I wanted it to be a clear plastic ball:   

       Wind resistance. Holes will only slow the ride down. Worse so if its a mesh rather than wiffle ball style. The drag force on a holed big ball would be a heckuva lot more than on an impermeable one.   

       There's another idea I've been thinking of: What if you could contain the entire ride inside a domed arena, of which the sky and ground could be shifted around. Maybe during the ride you could progress into this dome. This would add another element to your disorientation. The interior dome of sky & ground could be rotated so that it feels like gravity is pulling you towards the horizon.   

       Possibly what this ride would aim at is to remove all form of intuitive orientation of the body. It'd make floating around in zero-g space look like a mental cakewalk.
Wes, Feb 03 2001

       Sort of similar: go to any water park where they have one of those tubular water slides. The effect is like sliding through a pipe. Arch your back so that only your heels and shoulders are touching. Your speed will increase to the point where turns will send up to the "roof" of the pipe. (I have never made it all the way around, but it sure gets the adrenaline going. WARNING: do not try this on any open water slide...you will get serious air on the drops and could jump the edge on the corners.
blahginger, Mar 09 2001

       What propels it? It certainly can't be dragged like most roller coasters... regardless, [+]
ShellCandy, Jul 22 2007


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