Desk toys are perfect for when you don’t want to work. There’s a particularly old desk toy called the Newton’s cradle. If you don’t know the name, you’d still recognize the toy. It is some ball bearings suspended in midair on strings. If you pull back, say, two balls and let them swing to impact the other balls, the same number of balls on the other side will fly out. When they return, the same number will move on the other side and this repeats until friction wears it all down.
We think [JimRD] might be carried away on procrastination. You see, he not only has a Newton’s cradle, he has automated it with an Arduino. According to [Jim], this is his third attempt at doing so. You can see the current incarnation in the video, below.
Continue reading “Newton’s Cradle for Those Too Lazy to Procrastinate”
[Scott] doesn’t have any kids, but he’s the sort of type that likes to get ahead of the game. Of course this means spending time in his garage to build a rocking cradle. Usually, these are acquired from a baby shower and are powered by batteries. Terribly uncool, considering a mechanism to keep a pendulum swinging has existed for hundreds of years now. His latest project is the escapement cradle – a cradle (or hammock) that keeps rocking with the help of falling weights.
The first video in this series goes over the inspiration and the math behind determining how much energy it will take to maintain a swinging pendulum. The second video goes over a very rough prototype for the escapement mechanism with some woodworking that looks dangerous but is kept well under control. The third video puts everything together, rocking a cradle for about 10 minutes for every time the weight is lifted to the top.
[Scott] has had a few of his projects featured on Hackaday, and he’s slowly becoming the number two mechanized woodworker, right behind [Matthais]. He recently put the finishing touches on the expanding wooden table we saw a year ago, and there are surely even cooler builds in the queue for his YouTube channel.
Continue reading “A Clockwork Cradle is Baby’s First Escapement”
Air travellers take note, [Asthmaticatom] figured out how to comfortably watch your own videos on the plane. We know you always have your phone with you, now you just need to find a barf bag. A little bit of papercraft turns the waste disposal device into a neat little hanging dock.
The bag in the image above is actually upside down. A rectangle the same size as your phone’s screen is ripped out of the top. The metal clasp used to seal the top of the bag is rolled up to hold the phone securely in place. The bottom of the sack has a flap which acts as a one-way catch. When it is shoved into the crevice on top of the monitor it holds the whole thing in place.
Of course we don’t remember ever having been on a plane where there was a monitor in the seat in front of us, but perhaps we’re just buying tickets on the wrong airlines.
Last week we saw a rotating iPhone dock built from Lego. This week we’re happy to put up another example of a dock made of these popular building blocks. Thank goodness this one takes into account all of the sudden jolts that our desk is prone to by incorporating shock absorbing springs. The design is very sleek with a jazzy red scheme and a less-is-more attitude. We are a bit concerned about our expensive hand held falling out but then again that’s what the springs are for. Who can be the first to put together a step-by-step guide for building this one?
Hot on the heels of the aluminum dock and the Lego camera mount, [Steve] sent in his iPhone/iPod Touch dock made out of Lego bricks. It’s very stylish with a black and grey theme but we think the function makes this DIY spectacular. In the design [Steve] has included the ability to rotate the cradle so that the iPhone can be presented either vertically or horizontally. A step-by-step guide is not yet available but resourceful Lego lovers should be able to build this using his flickr set.
The creator of the pac man modded roomba is at it again. This time, [Ron Tajima] is going in a completely different direction. He has made a baby cradle attachment for his roomba. We don’t know what safety concerns there might be, but the baby seems OK with, so far. We’ve seen robot baby cribs before, but they cost much much more and don’t clean your house.