Floating globe, hacked to rotate

they need to hire this guy

[Alexy Sha] has done this fantastic hack, where he modified a magnetic floating globe to be motorized and spin on a tilted axis. The original globe was simply levitating via a magnet mounted inside. Though you could spin it by hand, it wasn’t motorized, and actually floated completely vertically instead of being tilted.

[Alexy] wanted to take this idea further and make it automatically spin on a rotated axes. He built a rotation assembly that was basically a motor, hung off-center, attached at the center of the globe. He had to power it via a coil hidden in the base unit, so that it could remain light enough to float. He did a fantastic job and the final product seems like it is the true way it should have been sold.

Check out a video of it in action after the break. We actually like the spinning ring, when he’s testing it, just as much as the final spinning globe.

Comments

  1. Aero says:

    Awesome.

  2. maroc says:

    that is awesome

  3. frozenlazer says:

    To me it looks like he just took the off the shelf globe that was already floating and rotating and shifted all the bits inside the globe to make it tilted. Its not clear why he would have to tune the induction coil, unless adjusting the tilt meant it needed to be re-calibrated. I don’t think he “made” any of it. Just adjusted.

  4. kevin mcguigan says:

    that is a great project and a great conversation piece. my hat is off to you. what a great job.

  5. Love it!

    Now to only add the moon to the Earth and orbit them both around a sun! :)

  6. Dick says:

    @frozenlazer

    I was under impression that the original implementation used magnets to turn the globe, without any motor.

    So I took it as, he added the inductive power, and motor. However, if you are indeed right, then I feel rather ripped off, and violated.

  7. Dick says:

    @frozenlazer

    And on that note, I recall when watching this that there was, what looked like a ton of hot glue holding the “wheel” in place on the globe. That alone would suggest he installed the motor.

  8. andrew says:

    The original was simply suspended and could rotate if it was spun by a hand. He added the motor and the tilt.

    This is really cool. I would have expected the motor to also rotate in the opposite direction but I guess the magnetic field keeping it suspended also introduces something like drag or resistance?

  9. frozenlazer says:

    Upon close inspection, I think I stand corrected. I was thrown off by how well that “equator” ring fit on to his motor assembly.

  10. 24601 says:

    So is it the magnetic field that holds onto the floating base and prevents it from rotating in the opposite direction? I was wondering why the base didn’t go one way while the globe went the other way like a helicopter without a tail rotor.

  11. NoX says:

    Of course he added the motor!

    When you rotate the globe in the vertical axis you don’t need it, because the distance to a point in the globe is always the same, you can do that by a simple magnet inside the globe.

    But, if you want a tilted axis, where the height changes with the angle, you can’t do that in the same way… that’s why he needed to add a much complex mechanism.

  12. beardysam says:

    The globe rotates because of the conservation of angular momentum. The motor inside rotates one way, and the ‘frictionless’ globe will rotate the OTHER way, because angular momentum has to be conserved.

    The globe rotates slower than the spinning motor rod because the globe is far heavier. The magnets beneath don’t resist the rotation at all.

    This is a _very_ clever hack.

    • BNBN says:

      This is an old comment, but its pretty high up and onone has responded, so I thought I should.

      This is not the case. No matter how long you look at the globe, it will not spin in the opposite way to the motor (although it WILL spin).

      The reason that the globe wont spin in the opposite way is indeed due to the magnets and the control system. For the globe to spin in the opposite direction, there would need to be a vertical component to the globe spin, as the motor spin has a vertical component. It cannot spin vertically, because when it lifts a little bit, the system will detect this and reduce the field strength, causing the magnetic field to weaken until gravity counteracts the force from the motor rotation. If the system was in a low gravity environment, the whole contraption would actually start to spin vertically (albeit very very slowly). The globe will, however, slowly spin in the horizontal plane.

      This may be what beardysam meant, but if so he did not explain very well.

  13. Drew says:

    THIS. IS. AWESOME.

    I never thought I would actually see someone pull this off- the same thing has bothered me for years!

    I MUST BUILD ONE!!! A very BIG one.

  14. Eric says:

    If you notice at about 2:00, he fixed the rotation from backwards to correct. :)

  15. Zmaster says:

    Awesome, no other words :)

  16. Pete says:

    What a beautiful job. I’ve wanted to do just that for a few months now and am very impressed by how well Alexy got it to work.

  17. knuckles904 says:

    One of the best projects ive seen on hackaday in a long time

  18. Jeff says:

    Absolutely brilliant!

  19. James says:

    That is very very good. excellent work to get that operational.

  20. Gert says:

    What speeds could this thing reach?

  21. Spork says:

    Wow, that is quite impressive and the project seems easy enough to duplicate.

    I really like the inductive coupling power supply. What a novel idea to have on a base with power already applied.

  22. Bob says:

    What would be even more awesome is some light inside the globe that light up on “the dark side”.

  23. Stephen says:

    Sweet.

    Need one for my office. Can I buy one?

  24. AllThatJazz says:

    Wow! Pretty up the base a bit and I bet Brookstone would sell a bazillion of these!

  25. kristian says:

    build it into an end table and tell everyone you’re a wizard! this is so cool!!

  26. Brennan says:

    I have nothing to add, other than this project/hack is awesome!

  27. jkx says:

    Marvelous !

  28. mark says:

    Questions: how stable is the floating globe on the base? Will the globe remain stable over the base if the base is moved in a smooth uniform motion?

    I envision this earth revolving around a larger, floating sun (moon optional). For added effect, place the moving bases beneath a uniform black surface.

  29. zool says:

    ok, but now it looks like it’s always summer

  30. Griffin says:

    I was grinning from ear to ear when I watched the video.
    Bravo!

  31. soopergooman says:

    This STINKS OF WIN!!!

  32. Willy says:

    The instant I saw this I started thinking how cool it would be to have it rotate once a day with a bright light source illuminating one side. Then I was trying to come up with a way to add a moon that slowly orbited. Then I was picturing how one might have the whole thing move around a scale sun and how this might be elegantly incorporated into the architecture, perhaps a large circular room with a counter around the perimeter. Then I realized I was daydreaming.

  33. Hitek146 says:

    If you guys want to add a sun and moon, and keep things to scale, I hope you have a large living room… :)

  34. strider_mt2k says:

    I’d like to make myself believe that planet Earth turns slowly…

    It’s like win with an extra side of more win.

    Beautiful BEAUTIFUL work!

  35. FrankenPC says:

    This is the kind of thing you patent.

  36. jeditalian says:

    i was imaging something much more complicated and wondering how he could pull it off. then i watched the video. angled floating internal motor powered by inductive coupling FTW! that is awesome. you could recreate the entire solar system on a big enough table, bases moving on tracks underneath, and put it in a museum. but i would just like to have it built into a desk. doesn’t have to be the earth.. power some LEDs via the inductive coupling as well, people would buy that shit up. you sir, are a genius :D

  37. jeditalian says:

    you could have a floating model of a helicopter with blades spinning. or just build a fake perpetual motion/ antigravity machine, powered by induction and fuck with people like its alien tech

  38. Erik says:

    I’d really like to see a light added to this that represents the sun. And then control the motor so it’s in tune with the Earth’s rotation. So one could tell what areas of Earth where in sun and what parts weren’t. Mostly just because it would be awesome! I’d be tempted to buy something like this hack if it was made. The other globes just don’t seem as cool to me.

  39. Amos says:

    A. Brilliant!
    B. Motor turns too fast
    C. That globe is ugly and should be replaced.
    D. I would probably just hover the “guts”, possibly modded to look (more?) like a space station (Empok Nor FTW!)

  40. Greycode says:

    FTW would be the Deathstar.

  41. strider_mt2k says:

    Okay at least we can all agree that it’s no moon…

  42. chris27 says:

    Amazing. Could more powerful magnets be used to suspend it further from the base station? It would be pretty cool to have it floating in the center of a room with nothing nearby.

  43. rob says:
  44. Brooks says:

    chris27: You could, but the inverse-square law is not your friend. The base also needs to be proportionately wider to center it.

  45. gcat122 says:

    I love it!
    It looks like the heavier globe is closer to the base. Is there even room for the shiney domed cover? Speaking of that, it is likely the cover (metal surface on plastic) will interefere with the induction field.
    ” I need more power!”

  46. Dr T says:

    I think the globe may be upside down. Isn’t the magnetic north of the globe supposed to be pointing up?

  47. bzroom says:

    i like the idea of a solar system of these things.. but screw moving bases, use a 2D magnet array to move them around, varying their height along the way. First step, giant 2d maglev floor.

  48. Rollyn01 says:

    So I guess no one else is thinking that this is how that plasma turrets from Halo work? More Proof that we are the Forerunners.

  49. luis says:

    But he doesnt say the main thing:
    How do you attach the power supply or the electric system to the magnetic base to keep it energized. That is the main secret. So you need to buy the Globe first and then apply the hack, but you cannot build one from scratch.

  50. Rajiv says:

    Erik: If you want the globe to rotate in time with the Earth the solution is even simpler than this – instead of a motor and inductive pickup simply attach the hour hand of a clock mechanism to the tilted equitorial ring. Of course you will need a 24hour clock, not a regular 12hour clock – or replace the 32KHz crystal in the 12Hr clock with a 16KHz crystal. :)

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