South-Pointing Chariot Kit

Sean Michael Ragan

I am descended from 5,000 generations of tool-using primates. Also, I went to college and stuff. I am a long-time contributor to MAKE magazine and makezine.com. My work has also appeared in ReadyMade, c't – Magazin für Computertechnik, and The Wall Street Journal.

2399 Articles

By Sean Michael Ragan

I am descended from 5,000 generations of tool-using primates. Also, I went to college and stuff. I am a long-time contributor to MAKE magazine and makezine.com. My work has also appeared in ReadyMade, c't – Magazin für Computertechnik, and The Wall Street Journal.

2399 Articles

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Indie makers RLT Industries of New Braunfels, Texas, sells this lovely wooden model kit of the classic “south-pointing chariot” mechanism. Set the chariot down with the vane pointing in an arbitrary direction — south, north, whatever — and a geared differential connected to the wheels will keep it pointing the same direction regardless of which way the chariot turns. Their version went through eight prototypes to get the gearing just right and seems like a helladeal at $59.

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