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Touch-activated Hydraulic Bookends

Squish books together gently to prevent slumping
  [vote for,

Simply a set of bookshelves with touch-activated bookends. In normal use, sensors would adjust pressure on the bookends to keep adjacent books vertical, and gently squeezed together.

To take a book off the shelf, simply touch the shelf, and the bookend(s) are moved a short way apart, allowing easy removal of one or more books. A second touch would restore the gentle squeeze.

csea, Jun 14 2011

Constant Force Spring http://www.leesprin...t_force_springs.asp
A coiled band of steel [csea, Jun 15 2011]

An early prototype http://www.american...mma/advert/ay39.jpg
[mouseposture, Jun 16 2011]

Said brothers... http://en.wikipedia...ki/Collyer_brothers
[normzone, Jun 17 2011]


8th of 7, Jun 14 2011

       //Pressure sensors don't realise//   

       Thanks for the critique. OK, so add some imaging capabilities to detect and adjust for bows. No books on floor in this library!
csea, Jun 14 2011

       Once the pressure is on, the shelf should retract.
pocmloc, Jun 14 2011

       Why not? [+]   

       I think a while ago I heard about some new-fangled technological marvel called a "pring" or "spling" or "spring", which could have been an alternative solution. Not sure if it ever worked out though.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jun 14 2011

       [MB] just trying to update F=-kx ...
csea, Jun 14 2011

       [MB], you are correct. The device is called a "spring", and we own all the patents, everywhere.   

       However, a spring is (not yet) a constant-force device. As more books are inserted into the shelf, x (as csea points out) increases, thus F increases in proportion. But with a hydraulic system with a pressure regulator, the force is constant irrespective of the distance of travel.
8th of 7, Jun 15 2011

       But this would imply that you own less books than are needed to completely fill your bookshelves...
hippo, Jun 15 2011

       Those are bookshelves?
rcarty, Jun 15 2011

       [hippo], he's probably aiming this at the American market ...
8th of 7, Jun 15 2011

       *Fewer* books, [hippo], *fewer* books. Not that I do, you understand. Anyway, some of them are less, others greater. One pair of volumes used to be exactly great enough to fill the gap under the pantry door, until a mouse ate right through. Now those two are less.
pertinax, Jun 15 2011

       [+] I never have enough shelf space, so I'm assuming these can work on the floor or in other places where books are placed?
xandram, Jun 15 2011

       If a constant force is required, some sort of counterweight system would suffice.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jun 15 2011

       [Max], given your family's notorious history when it comes to counterweights, pits, pendulums and the like, we had a small expectation of you having the good taste not to introduce that particular topic.
8th of 7, Jun 15 2011

       Perhaps a constant-force spring [link] laminated with nitinol could work.
csea, Jun 15 2011

       Put the bookshelves at an angle of 45º to the wall, with a fixed bookend at the lower end.
pocmloc, Jun 15 2011

       I mean, 45º to the floor of course, but 90º to the wall.
pocmloc, Jun 15 2011

       I can't find a link anywhere for it, but I've seen a set of bookends which used a large length of spring steel rolled up (I just read that link now, but will continue the annotation anyway) in a very similar way to the linked constant force spring. Books just sat between the rolled up ends which applied pressure. No nitinol needed [csea] (unless that is to unwind it a bit on touching and warming to body temperature).
TomP, Jun 15 2011

       If springs aren't for you, then a simple passive-resistance hydraulic like those found on hatchback cars or cheap exercise equipment would suffice. No need for force-sensors or imaging systems and complicated algorythmic book-righting computers.
Alterother, Jun 15 2011

       //Put the bookshelves at an angle of 45º to the wall, with a fixed bookend at the lower end.//   

       [pocmloc] I have to say, that is an idea in itself and beautiful. All the advantages of a pile of books, all the stability of a shelf.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jun 15 2011

       But, but, but how do you get out the book at the lower end of the stack ? The pressure, and thus the friction, will increase toward the bottom.   

       Unless you have an automatic book-greaser fitted, which would possibly be overcomplicating things.
8th of 7, Jun 15 2011

       Butbutbutbut ... there's no difficulty pulling a book out from the bottom of a stack. Not from friction, anyway -- the problem is with the stack collapsiing. Which won't happen with [pocmloc]'s idea.
mouseposture, Jun 15 2011

       Sure, there may be other ways to shelve books, but I think you're all ignoring the "coolness" factor that would come with touch-activated hydraulic operation: <click, hmmm, "ah, my favorite literature...," hmmm, click>
csea, Jun 16 2011

       ////Put the bookshelves at an angle of 45º to the wall, with a fixed bookend at the lower end.//   

       Get a few together and you have a book tent. I was thinking cool, just lie on the couch iin the book tent and just draw out an interesting volume, but then realised they'd all have to be on the outside. If that problem can be overcome, then it'd be a winner.   

       A weight on a piece of string, via a 90 degree turn on a pulley, that would apply a constant pressure to the horizontal bookcase book holding together notion. Excepting the difference of being that much close to the ground and so liable to the inverse square rule..blah blah balh
not_morrison_rm, Jun 16 2011

       Splendid idea. +

//*Fewer* books, [hippo]//

[barely suppressed snigger]
DrBob, Jun 16 2011

       //ignoring the "coolness" factor //   

       I seem to remember that certain French government offices have (had?) filing systems that work a bit like this. I haven't seen them myself, but I believe they represented the height of sixties (maybe seventies) technology; pre-digital data retrieval, by hydraulics. I can't help suspecting that it was substantially coolness-driven.
pertinax, Jun 16 2011

       // lie on the couch iin the book tent //   

       More a book pyramid, then ?   

       But resist the urge to browse, lest the whole lot come crashing down upon you.   

       It would be beautifully ironic to build a large pyramid out of copies of the Egyptian Book of the Dead, crawl into the centre chamber, pull out a volume and be crushed to death in the resulting collapse.
8th of 7, Jun 16 2011

       [pertinax]//I seem to remember...// Either that or the opening credits to _The Prisoner_   

       [8th_of_7] More or less what happened to one of the Collyer brothers. The other starved.
mouseposture, Jun 17 2011

       <Mutters to self>"Now if I simply over-ride the pressure control....   

       There, 2 dozen more books on the same shelf, and the complete works of Shakespeare reduced to a mere paperback!"
Ling, Jun 17 2011

       " … but then by the early 21st century, their species had become desperate for carbon-based fuels, and commenced a programme of converting books into coal…
8th of 7, Jun 17 2011

       //gently //   

       I said, _gently!_
csea, Jun 18 2011


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