LEGO® My Single-Phase Induction Motor

[Diato556] made a really cool single-phase induction motor with parts mounted on Duplo blocks. He has posted an Instructable where he uses these modular parts to  demonstrate the motor and the principles of induction as described after the jump.

 

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Hand cranked electric toy has no batteries or power supply

We think this hand cranked robot design is nothing short of absolute brilliance. The toy is remote-controlled through a short section of wire. It can drive forward and turn, but not at the same time. Still that’s impressive considering it uses no battery or power supply and, of the two servo motors, only one is actually in the robot itself.

The second servo, which is visible to the right, acts as a dynamo. When you crank it electricity is generated. The inputs of that servo are connected to the inputs of the one in the robot to power it. If you crank in one direction the colorful toy will drive forward. But there is a one-way catch on one of the side wheels so when the servo is cranked backward the little guy actually executes a reverse turn. The magic of building a project like this is perfect for a weekend activity with the kids. Don’t miss the demo embedded after the jump.

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Ridiculous exerciser becomes useful as a charger

[Scott Nietfeld] built a charger from a Dyna-flex wrist exerciser. We hadn’t heard of a these gyroscopic devices before but once we saw the promo video (embedded after the break) we realized that this is the kind of thing that infomercials were made to sell. [Scott] knew the internals spun to fairly high RPM and figured that adding a few magnets on the inside and coils on the outside would turn this thing into a generator. Four rare-earth magnets fit the bill, with two external coils feeding a rectifier and linear regulator. Below you can see his demonstration video where he takes the orb apart, then spins it up, generating 250 mA at about 7.5 volts to drive the regulator and charge a cellphone. Not bad!

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The quest for a bicycle power system

[Garote] has been extremely busy. Busy building an electrical system into his bicycle, and even busier writing a monumental post about it. He covers an impressive range of topics, starting with the goal of adding a generator, battery, charging system, lights, and accessories to the bike. From there he clicks off one thing at a time, researching and ordering a wheel with a Dynamo hub for the generator, assembling and testing the cells of his battery, choosing the controller board for the charging system, and designing the accessory circuits like the iPhone charger above. If he adds too much more to the two-wheeled rig he’s going to have to plan a big road trip with it.

[Thanks Xuxo]