Kinetic project duo to delight and amuse

We’re going to let you decide which of these two projects is a delight, and which is amusing.

The project on the left is a desktop kinetic sculpture. We like it because of its size and simplicity. A single AA battery drives the gear head motor that provides the lift for the metal balls. There are several different routes for them to take in returning to the lift wheel, each route determined by a mechanical combination of the metal spheres. This is more of a month-long build than some of the other kinetic devices we’ve seen which could take a lifetime.

The offering on the right is a perpetual motion machine. Well, it will be once that guy gets the kinks worked out. You can see him explain how he intends this works in the video after the break. We’re not betting on perpetual motion, but if we did, our money would be on something like the Steorn Orbo replica and not on this.

[Thanks Cr8ive]

Comments

  1. Russ Weeks says:

    On a similar note, Ronald Walters’ marble machine via woodgears.ca: http://woodgears.ca/reader/walters/marble_machine.html

  2. Caspan says:

    I love these things, if they work or not!

  3. amishx64 says:

    “GRAVITY WHEEL PERPETUAL MOTION second attempt”

  4. xeracy says:

    kinect? i dont see how a kinect plays into– OH KIN-ET-IC! I get it now.

  5. brad says:

    making the diameter larger is nice and all, but that’s adding to the overall mass of the wheel. doing so would eliminate any mechanical advantage he set out to achieve, even if he cuts holes into the wheel to make it lighter.

    putting on my foil hat and crossing my fingers.

    Good luck!

  6. jentulman says:

    I read kinekt too. There’s been so much of it lately. Not complaining though.

    You see so much perpetual motion balls on the web, and I think most readers here follow what the issues are around aiming for it.
    I do however love that people keep aiming for it, even if we get a few ‘monorail salesman’ grabbing cash from the gullible.
    I really hope that, should somebody break the laws of physics, it’s someone like this, tinkering away in the shed.

  7. MrX says:

    I would pay to see the moment when he finally realizes that most of the energy in his system is being wasted by friction. :D

  8. Brian says:

    at mrx

    most of the energy on earth is wasted by friction, lol

  9. GotNoTime says:

    Very nicely made even if the idea of it being a perpetual motion machine or even prototype is a little crazy.

  10. Bob says:

    Making the outer wheel bigger will cause his the amount of radial travel required to move the ball vertical down to reduce. This will cause the inner wheel to travel less radial which causes the balls to travel less vertically. This will require him to increase the size of the inner wheel…and then the insanity starts over again. Energy in = Energy out – Friction for each cycle. No way to win without adding energy.

  11. dmcbeing says:

    Someone wasn’t paying attention at physics 101…

  12. Brian says:

    On a side note, I applaud him for his creations, they all seem very well made and are visually pleasing. They also seem like they required a lot of thought (ignoring the statement about energy and such lol)

  13. jeditalian says:

    step 1: buy a house by a river.
    step 2: build a waterwheel.
    step 3: hook up a driveshaft, do some gearing if you want to increase RPM’s. put some magnets on the output shaft. build a false wall, build a “perpetual motion” machine. put magnets on the side of that, facing your false wall. fill in step 4-? where they belong. you now have a working perpetual motion machine, until the river dries up or your magnets weaken, or the perpetual motion moves out of it’s place, the most likely scenario.

  14. theodore says:

    And be careful not to lose your marbels!

  15. jeditalian says:

    the way he builds these makes it easy to fake it with a stream of compressed air.

  16. Simon says:

    Hack-a-day needs a perpetual motion machine category. Unless you could squeeze it in under “cons” :-)

  17. DudeBro says:

    I really don’t understand. This guy seems to think he has achieved something other than building a nice marble thingy. Does he not realise that it’s him pushing it around?

  18. MRC says:

    he may be delusional, but he’s a pretty good craftsman.

  19. vonskippy says:

    Every “perpetual machine” on the planet is “almost there”.

    Sad that public education so ill prepares people for basic math.

  20. The DON says:

    Love the beauty, simplicity and craftsmanship.

    Bob nailed it though.

    Another way of describing why it won’t work would be to point out that the 1 or 2 balls weighing down on the larger diameter, can only act over a distance smaller than the inner ball tray. The inner ball diameter meanwhile is carrying more than 2 balls.
    Increasing the size difference between the inner and outer ball trays, dictates that the inner tray must be carrying proportionally more balls.
    Directly proportional to the the size difference that is.

    This is why it cannot work.

    Also, the larger the difference in diameter sizes, the more time a ball spends transitioning from one to the other, where it cannot exert is potential energy.
    Thus the larger the contraption becomes, the more effort it will require to turn.

    Once again though, I do love the beauty, simplicity and craftsmanship. The passion too.

  21. kristian says:

    even without friction, a system like that couldn’t sustain motion. it’s simpler than lever-arms and torques (although i agree well enough with Bob and The DON, i think), but really the unavoidable problem is that the work done on the system by a marble traveling down can’t be greater than the work done by the system on a marble traveling up. in fact, since this design uses ramps to transistion from the up and down states, the falling marbles add less energy to the system than the rising ones—no matter what. (the ramps require some change in elevation to work). this is why i said that even without friction these designs couldn’t work.. so yeah

    it’s some respectable craftsmanship, but being led by misguided physics makes this sadly wasteful… except for the experience gained in the build process.

    something i could appreciate would be a system designed with the goal to sustain motion with very little energy put into it (like a grandfather clock. i love clocks!) efficieny can be an art.

    it’s kindof funny to me how the other half of this post was more-or-less ignored. …ok i’m done now.

  22. Calis says:

    Physics….how does it work?

  23. Darren says:

    A very good craftsman. I was thinking the pieces were laser cut until I saw the draft marks.

  24. -HMav says:

    Well, this could work. If gravity were somehow stronger on the “down” side of the larger wheel. Perhaps if he uses a portal to put half the machine in the vicinity of a black hole! Actually some magnets to help pull the marbles down on the periphery might have the same effect, but would the marbles still roll down hill away from the magnets?

  25. Spork says:

    I’ll just use magnets! — You know the source of free energy?

  26. Erik Johnson says:

    The problem I see with this is not friction – the only friction he has to worry about is the pivot of the wheel. It’s the ratio of inside balls to outside balls there should be fewer inside than outside, but you cant maintain that without eventually reducing the outside balls just through the working of the machine

  27. Matt says:

    If people interested in working on free energy would just read a frickin’ book on the history of perpetual motion* they would realize that they are typically just rehashing designs that have been made over and over again over hundreds of years. In this case the perpetual motion machine here is simply from the category of “overbalancing wheels” which people have been trying to get free energy from for hundreds of years.

    *The book I have on the topic is “Perpetual Motion: The History of an Obsession” by Arther W. J. G. Ord-Hume. It provides a good history of the topic, though I wish it had some better discussion of the physics.

  28. supershwa says:

    @Spork – I’m going to assume you’re making a joke, since we know that even “permanent” magnets eventually lose their magnetic force….especially when introduced to other magnetic fields (many people have attempted the magnetically powered perpetual motion machines.)

    Project on the left looks fun…sadly the Chinese website doesn’t show me the video in the U.S. I remember an old kinetic clock back in the 80’s that sat on the desk in my father’s wood shop. I used to think it was the coolest “toy” in the world.

    Speaking of carpentry — our perpetual motion guy has great woodworking skills, but as stated by others here, he should probably consider brushing up on his physics.

  29. Khai says:

    I have a design for a perpetual motion system that should work.

    take 1 cat and a slice of buttered toast
    tie toast to cat, butter side out.
    drop.

  30. Matt says:

    And what’s up with the “We’re not betting on perpetual motion, but if we did, our money would be on something like the Steorn Orbo replica and not on this.”??

    Steorn is a scam conning investors and the “knowledge database” members who don’t know better out of their money. Replica or not Hackaday should not be giving Steorn anything that can be construed as positive press.

  31. Bob says:

    You want perpetual motion? Figure out how to reduce the entropy of a system. You’ll still need thermal energy, but you’d be able to capture it directly without producing more heat. Then you’d have all the energy you want from non absolute zero air.

    One idea is to capture energy from Brownian motion. There you would be converting thermal fluctuations directly into mechanical energy. The hard part is creating an efficient system of that size.

  32. Krusty says:

    At what point do you think he’ll be building a ferris wheel sized device???? That would be cool and if nothing else, he could sell rides!!!

  33. ryan says:

    the bigger the outer wheel the more lifting the inner wheel has to do.

    No real solution for this guy. I hope he figures it out soon.

  34. Earl Jr. says:

    I WANT TO BELIEVE!

  35. chris says:

    while I find the fruitless effort sad, at least it’s an interesting design, he should make one with lots of tracks and throw a hidden motor on it.

    also, I believe the kinetic sculpture is by a fellow who goes by “denha” on youtube, and he’s made lots of really cool modular ball&track stuff, as well as some diy electronic stuff.

  36. VIPER! says:

    Yeah, I have seen many of these free energy systems. Gravity wheels, magnetic engines, etc, etc… They are all the same. Some one gets real excited about an idea that they think “Has to work” the “science” is SO simple. When they really need to attend a high school physics class to fully understand why this will never work. Either that or they just try to build an elaborate machine to impress people, trying to get “venture capital” in order to “Market it to a manufacture” LOL

  37. VIPER! says:

    Check out his next video!
    I love the “Flower of Life” pattern on the bigger wheel. You know the one that needs to be just a little bit bigger yet to make the thing work forever.
    How much TIME did it take him to make those elaborate wheels.

  38. strider_mt2k says:

    I find the concept delightful and the implementations amusing.

    -right up until the guy continues to talk seriously about making it work.

    Then it’s just…uncomfortable.

    Of course if he makes it work he’s my hero again, but for now…uncomfortable.

  39. PKM says:

    Perpetual motion- it’s just a lot of balls and spin.

    HaD: I *seriously* hope you were joking about Orbo being “the one to put your money on”. It’s interesting, yes, but I would bet every penny I own on it *not* achieving perpetual motion. Please, for the sake of your site’s credibility, stick with the “this is a nice piece of carpentry” and stay away from “this wooden thing violates fundamental laws of the universe”.

  40. Bob says:

    What you need is a perpetual motion device that drives a gyro, then you’ve got yourself a flying car. Simples.

  41. Bill Porter says:

    I chuckled at one of the p-machine youtube comments:

    “How about adding a high performance bearing on the center axle to reduce friction? Maybe an electromagnetic bearing… “

  42. mic says:

    How do magnets work?

  43. Jake says:

    This is a joke, right? This guy knows that it is not physically possible for this to work? Or is he really that gullible? Please tell me that he’s just kidding around…

  44. Mikey says:

    Gravity wheels due to diminishing returns won’t work — though it may at some point be possible to harness to energy of earth’s (or another body’s) gravity (what he’s trying to accomplish anyway — keep in mind, the only reason perpetual motion is said to not work is because it tries to power itself — that’s not what perpetual motion attempts to do, in fact — at least in the designs I’ve seen — they attempts to harness gravity — the same way we harness the flowing motion of a river connected to a water wheel connected to a dynamo… etc… — though I don’t believe we have the technology to do this yet, and it’s much easier to build a water wheel.)

    That being said: very nice craftsmanship (as others have also noted.) I look forward to seeing more of these.

  45. Actually there is a small chance that if RT superconductors ever become possible, if the system temperature is correctly biased so the SC is on the verge of quenching then a magnetic wheel like device might work as long as the temperature is in a very narrow range.
    Possibly down to hundredths of a degree C.

    the basic principle is similar to those heat engines that work on a cup of coffee.
    In this case equilibrium is reached when the system temperature rises or falls outside of the midpoint.
    this is broadly similar to the way in which a tunnel diode oscillator works.

  46. bothersaidpooh says:

    Should have also mentioned that quenching generates heat, so the device would need to be actively cooled in order to work for more than a few seconds.
    Guess where that energy comes from.

  47. Cyberpigue says:

    I have a neat old electric clock that you “start” by spinning an armature. This reminds me very much of it, especially the fact that it needs to be plugged in to work…

  48. anfegori91 says:

    That machine is, in some way, perpetual. Over the years it has been reconstructed over and over again…

  49. mic says:

    Seriously though, how do magnets work? Nah just kidding, this is BS. Obey physics or keep your crap to your self.

  50. Pogyhauler says:

    Am I mistaken in assuming that something like the 3 laws of thermodynamics are taught someplace around 5th-6th grade?

    Am I mistaken in assuming that Most people posting here are at least High School graduates or equivalent?

    It seems like every 18 year old on the planet is intent on instructing every 17 year old on the planet on topics every 16 year old already knows.

    kiddies:
    Motion < work < change < energy. No energy, No motion.
    For any exceptions, talk to God.

    There are 2 kinds of 'perpetual' one is stasis. the other is limitless. Know which is which before you pontificate on either.

    Hence, There are 2 kinds of 'Perpetual Motion'.
    One, requires no input. static to dynamic with zero transfer. That don't happen. not even in Quantum Chromodynamics. Just in case you missed it. That is what this device and others like it claim to do.

    The other is tapping a provably eternal source with a local net gain. ex. Telekinetics, Cold Fusion, Gravity Waves (If Gravity is a local perception of a higher dimension flux).
    So far, it seems you can't do that in our universe. It's against the rules. On this side of the Big Bang, even galaxies die.

    If you can stab a stick into the wall of the universe, and use whatever leaks out, you got a machine.

    Until then, lets all get back to bashing Microcontrollers. It's less embarrassing.

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