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A table with springs and arms that is always level
 (+2) [vote for, against]

This idea arises from the idea titled "Stable Table" in this same category.

Non-level tables are hideous things...you can't have a business lunch at one, because you're always afraid to put your stuff down and upset the balance of the table. You can't lean on one, because you'll rock it and spill an apple martini all over your date's blouse. You can't eat on them, because putting your fork into your steak creates enough pressure to rock the table, spilling your date's apple martini all over your lap.

So, rather than the hydraulic fluid mentioned in the previously-noted idea, I present to you, my loyal readers and hecklers, a table based on the mechanics of the Steadicam (see link).

A tabletop would be mounted on a single pedestal, which is in turn attached to four mechanical legs.

Each leg is similar in appearance to a human leg. The gimbal joint to the support post is attached to a "thigh," which is a cable, a spring, and a pulley. The thigh is hooked to a joint, which in turn is hooked to a "shin," then an "ankle" joint, and a foot.

The thigh would be angled upward from the gimbal at about 60 degrees, then the knee would be a 30-degree joint, and the shin/ankle joint would be another 60-degree angle (I chose these numbers merely because it would minimize the horizontal footprint - I'm sure there's a better set of angles, but this is a prototype, after all).

Movement of the table horizontally would be made impossible by simply putting a frame around the "hip" that allows the legs to move only up or down.

The table would always remain level based solely on its own inertia. And even if the floor isn't level, the table will flex itself into a level position.

 — shapu, Nov 19 2004

Stable Table http://www.halfbake...idea/Stable_20Table
[shapu, Nov 19 2004]

(?) The basics of the Steadicam http://www.videosch...com/Stedifaq.1.html
With ASCII illustrations. Hot dog. [shapu, Nov 19 2004]

[shapu, Nov 19 2004]