Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Walking Box

Looks like a plastic cube with no moving parts, but it moves
  [vote for,

The idea is to design what *looks* like a box with no moving parts, but, when placed on a table, floor, or other flat surface, can move forwards, backwards, sideways, and can turn in place. Furthermore, it can do this regardless of which of it's faces is placed on the ground.

It accomplishes this by means of six linear vibrating motors inside it, similar to pager vibrators. Three vibrate linearly, and three vibrate torsionally.

The phase and speed of the vibrators is selected so that the box hops or walks.

goldbb, Apr 05 2010

Instantly reminded me of this http://en.wikipedia...iki/Gelatinous_cube
[DrWorm, Apr 06 2010]

Whereas I was reminded of this http://en.wikipedia...iki/E_pur_si_muove!
//but it moves// [mouseposture, Apr 06 2010]


       Super, but why limit it to table-top size? I'd like to see our streets full of these things.
pocmloc, Apr 05 2010

       I'd love to have one of these [+]. I think I've seen clockwork toys that "walk" this way, but only in one direction, and only if upright. Does it rely on nonlinear friction? Otherwise, I'm having trouble understanding how it's possible.
mouseposture, Apr 05 2010

       When I was a kid (before wheels and electricity were invented) we used to do something like this with a matchbox full of "Mexican Jumping Beans".
jurist, Apr 06 2010

       I give this robo Gelatinous Cube (see link) a purpose. Maybe it could deliver pizza ...
Aristotle, Apr 06 2010

       "...but sir, your odds of rolling another seven are 140000000 to 1!"   

       "I said let it ride."   

       Now, spinning on the corner...that would be neat.
Ling, Apr 06 2010

       ...what - no remote control?
xandram, Apr 06 2010

       mouseposture, the device can move using a variety of cadences, any of which will move it forwards.   

       The simplest one is a pogo-stick like action, where the vertical linear vibrator moves the box up and down, and the forward/backward vibrator moves at the frequency, and is phased so as to push backwards against the table at the time when the vertical vibrator is pushing down on the table. Similarly, sideways motion and turning can both be achieved in the same manner, but using the left-right linear vibrator or the yaw torsional vibrator.   

       Another way for it to move forwards is through a "walking" action, where the pitch direction torsional vibrator alternately presses the left and right edges of the cube against the table. The yaw direction torsional vibrator moves at the same speed, and is phased so as to push clockwise when the right edge is pressed down, and clockwise when the left edge is down. The walking action can be enhanced by operating the vertical vibrator at double the speed of the other pitch vibrator, pressing down on the table at the same time as the pitch vibrator pushes each edge down, and pushing upwards in between. Sideways motion could be done, but would require the use of the sideways linear vibrator, running at double the speed of the pitch vibrator. Turning while using the walking cadence should be possible, by running the yaw vibrator at double the speed of the pitch vibrator.   

       A "galloping" cadence can be achieved by using the roll and pitch vibrators together, at the same speed, phased to press each of the four corners of the box against the table in series. Forward motion can be achieved using either the forward linear vibrator (running 4x the speed of the first two), or with the yaw torsional vibrator (similar to "walking"), or both. Distance from the table, and the amount of traction produced, can be enhanced by running the vertical vibrator at four times the speed of the roll and pitch vibrators.   

       jscottpete, charging can be done through magnetic induction, to avoid the need for electrical contacts.   

       xandram, of course there's a remote control... but I didn't think necessary to explain how *that* part of the invention would work.
goldbb, Apr 06 2010


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