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I love art student Yasutoki Kariya’s Asobi, an entry in Mitsubishi Chemical’s Junior Designer Awards. Johnny at Spoon & Tamago aptly calls it “Edison’s Cradle,” a nod to Newton’s Cradle, “the iconic desktop toy that demonstrates Newton’s third law of motion.” Be sure to watch the video to get the full effect with the sound it makes. [via Neatorama]

Matt Richardson

Matt Richardson

Matt Richardson is a Brooklyn-based creative technologist, Contributing Editor at MAKE, and Resident Research Fellow at New York University’s Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP). He’s the co-author of Getting Started with Raspberry Pi and the author of Getting Started with BeagleBone.



  1. trkemp says:

    Interesting idea. It would be a lot cooler if there were actually some sort of mechanical linkage between the bulbs and sensors were being used to drive the lighting of the bulbs, rather than just a timer loop with solenoids on either end.

    1. Merglyn says:

      I agree completely.
      I might just have to try and make my own :P

      1. trkemp says:

        I think it could be a fun project too. I was thinking that using cast acrylic balls with an embedded LED and accelerometer (MMA8452Q maybe?) might be the way to go. Or maybe hanging on a stiff rod from a potentiometer.

        Large glass bulbs like in the original would be a quick way to at least break a filament if not a glass bulb.

        1. notstarman says:

          I think that a pezo driving the light would be cool. The ball gets hit deforming the pezo element. That creates the signal and through an amp could drive the lights. Just a thought thou.

    2. Warren says:

      As a designer i’m quite torn here. I mean one can’t just copy the artist or designer’s work. But then technically one only really _can’t_ if they’ve patented it. It still feels unethical.
      How about communicating with the originator? Asking permission, or more importantly giving them the opportunity to be in on this spin-off of THEIR input?

      1. trkemp says:

        Unless you are planning to copy their work exactly I wouldn’t worry about it. It’s not as if their work isn’t derivative. Plus, hopefully, you will improve on it, which is OK even if theirs had been patented.

  2. [...] As you can make out in the video, it isn’t really a Newton’s Cradle. There is a solenoid pushing the bulbs at the end out at the correct time, but that’s fine. The overall result is quite brilliant. Unfortunately, we don’t know much about the setup. Anyone have more information? Anyone want to take a stab at making “Tesla’s cradle”? [via Make] [...]

  3. CFL manufacturer's lobbyist says:

    Those bulbs should be illegal because I said so!

  4. [...] here’s a twist on Newton’s Cradle that makes it much cooler. Now somebody needs to make one that arcs electricity out each end and we can call it Tesla’s [...]

  5. JimmyD says:

    This is neat. The problem with a real Newton’s Cradle is that all the balls (bulbs) swing in unison after a while.

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