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Mechanical climber

Craft & Design Science

I wish I could speak Spanish – Argentinian Alberto Oscar made this great little mechanical climber, I’d love to know what his narration is about. There are other constructions at his blog, Surprising Physics (Fisica Sorprendente).

18 thoughts on “Mechanical climber

  1. Laura says:

    I’ve begun to transcript and translate the video for you, but on the site there is a link at the bottom that permits to translate the posts.
    Here is the English version of this video:

    A simple demonstration of several aspects of the mechanical branch of physics.
    First observed as the electrical energy is converted into mechanical through the electric motor that spins the shaft.
    Then distinguishes itself as the circular movement was transformed into linear through a very simple system of cams, which I have built on some small wood discs, these were located in alternately eccentric and outdated one another 180 °
    After cutting the small wooden blocks to the extent appropriate and otorgándo to them a gentle slope downward at its top, consegumos that the balls go up by the climber until the upper zone, is where the energy potential is highest.
    Finally in the bottom of this guide is awaiting a ball, that being impacted by the decline reaching moves by climbing upward in the guide. It was evident in this clash the principle of action and reaction, the inertia, losses in the form of heat, friction, energy conservation laws and many more.
    Of course, to leave the electric motor connected are repeated in successive cycles, giving a nice effect.

  2. Patti Schiendelman says:

    Wow, thank you Laura!

  3. Dug North says:

    I’ve seen a similar mechanism used in a few automata. In particular, this Dragon Automaton comes to mind…

    It’s cool to see the mechanism in detail in the video you posted.


    Dug North

  4. Holly says:

    This gismo is old- there’s a working one on the ceiling of Etta’s Deli in Madison Wisconsin.

    It’s on the ceiling, where the sandwiches are made, and is part of a huge maze that keep billiard balls in constant motion.

  5. Windell Oskay says:

    Here is a fantastic list of different rolling ball machine mechanisms– including this one– each with little animations explaining the workings:

  6. Sunrunner20 says:

    If you look at how the balls move, you will notices that this very same mechicnisim is inside every single retractable pin that clicks.

  7. spook66 says:

    when he worked making conveyor lines. There was one called a “Shuffalo” (think shuffle + buffalo) that would take a loose bin of fruit, raise them up several feet. and also line them up into the squeezers. It was a very efficient sorting system.

  8. NiñoScript says:

    If you ever need translating something like this again, just ask me, I’m Chilean (Chile is to the west of Argentina).
    I’ll be willing to help ;-)

  9. ñññ says:

    I was going to translate it, that is what happens when you unstick from make for a few hours.

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Becky Stern is a Content Creator at Autodesk/Instructables, and part time faculty at New York’s School of Visual Arts Products of Design grad program. Making and sharing are her two biggest passions, and she's created hundreds of free online DIY tutorials and videos, mostly about technology and its intersection with crafts. Find her @bekathwia on YouTube/Twitter/Instagram.

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