Obsessed by the improvements of StarTrek and the fourth millennium, while feeling restricted by the limits of today's technology or that boring second law of thermodynamics? Just let your imagination flow - you needn't be Scotty to beam your thoughts in here!
By treadair
A new curiousity.

Imagine a small, desktop-sized toy Ferris Wheel. Each bucket on the wheel is positioned in 10 degree increments on the rim of the wheel. Nothing is in the bottom bucket. In the first bucket on the left, at the 10 degree mark, there's a small magnet. In the next bucket above it on the left (at the 20 degree mark), there's a little bit bigger magnet. Continuing in this clockwise direction, each bucket gets an increasingly bigger magnet until you reach the bucket at 270 degree mark (3 o'clock on your watch if it's not a digital watch). Every bucket after that is empty.

Now for the fun part. There's a wood axle in the middle of this Ferris Wheel and it has one wood spoke attached to it, pointing straight down. A little ways up the spoke there's a hinged piece of panel that looks sort of like a hood. If the spoke was turned to the left this hood would move away from it a little bit but not too far. Okay, now we attach a piece of iron to the end of the spoke. If the calculations work out then this spoke will be attracted to the 1st bucket, then the 2nd, then the 3rd, etc... since each bucket would exert a stronger and stronger magnetic pull on it. When it passed the 180 degree mark (pointing straight up) the magnets would continue to pull it in a clockwise direction. Shortly after that the hood on its hinge would be pulled back down towards the spoke thanks to gravity. This hood would be made out of magnetic wood paneling so when it completely covered piece of iron on the end of it the magnets attached to the Ferris Wheel would no longer be able to effect it. Gravity would pull the spoke the rest of the way back down to its original starting position. The spoke would go round and round until...hmm...I'm not sure what would stop it.

Note: A small friction plate (speed bump, rubber hairs, etc...) should probably be added on the bottom of the model slightly to the right of the zero degree mark. This would catch the extended hood and slow it down a little, letting the piece of iron on the spoke be completely uncovered so the magnet in the first bucket wouldn't have any trouble grabbing it.

Reward: None required.
By mking
I believe this would be fun to play with. Do you see a particular use other than entertainment?
By treadair
It would be interesting to see how long it could produce electricity by using its axle as a turbine.
By mking
I keep on thinking about this idea of yours. What if you had one magnet based on the bottom platform that pulled on the magnets in the baskets while another stronger magnet at the top pushed the baskets? Timing and tweaking would certainly be required.
By treadair
I passed this idea on to an engineer a little while back to see if he thought it would be worth building a prototype. Waiting to hear back from him.
By jacobpatrick
so would it be the force exerted by the magnets pulling this machine?
if so it would go until the magnets ran out of juice.
By treadair
The mineral magnetite wouldn't run out of juice since it's permanently magnetized.

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