Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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socket-seeking plug

for those powered prosthetics
  [vote for,

Whether your powered prosthetic is a replacement limb or an extra one, the worry about power is there. A battery-pack, wherever placed, is too much trouble to plug into every outlet you are near. What is needed is a power adapter that can be effortlessly guided to the electrical socket, and just as effortlessly withdrawn without any time spent moving around for this purpose.

I propose a reel-held power cord with a set of three small robots and a connection to your contact HUD, glasses-based HUD, or optical implant. Each robot would be connected to the cord and be able to move along it. Each robot would have a low-resolution video camera in front. Each robot would be equipped, on the bottom, with several sets of wheels: both sides of your standard velcro, a suction cup wheel with a little fan to make a vacuum, some wheels with little hooks, and wheels with electromagnets. These wheels would be raisable and lowerable individually. They could be used to attach the robots to almost any surface. When you have a minute and are near a power socket, the reel would loosen enough to let the three robots' weight drag it to the floor. The first robot(closest to the user) would then attach to the floor and the second and third to each other. The third robot could be directed (dragging the second behind) to the electrical socket. When a bend in the cord is needed, the second and third robots detach and the second robot would attach itself to the floor or wall. The third robot, equipped also with the plug, would continue on to the socket and, when over it, press the plug into it.

When the user has to leave, the robots could quickly detach and be reeled in or, if a more discrete approach is desired, reverse the process.
Voice, May 28 2008


       I once read of some robotics research where a mobile robot was given a plug to recharge itself with. The face of the plug that contacts the front face of the outlet was an electrode, and it searched for outlets by driving along walls and sensing the electric field. When it got close, it used the ground prong of its plug as an electrode to conduct a finer search for the actual slots in the outlet before plugging in.   

       That's what I thought this was going to be from the title.
notexactly, May 27 2018

       My "untouched in 10 years" view seems to behave as "untouched in 10 years less 2 days". Probably a leap year handling bug.
notexactly, Jun 02 2018


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