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Ball Bearing Device

  1. Sep 2, 2010 #1
    Does anyone know the name for a mechanical device where a ball bearing is made to go down a ramp, through loops, up and down pulleys etc, while moving on a metal rail?

    My first thought was a Rube Goldberg device, but I don't think that's it.

    Richard
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 2, 2010 #2

    Astronuc

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    Rube Goldberg refers to a complicated, the more complicated the better, for achieving a simple goal. I believe you're describing a Rube Goldberg device.

    Enjoy -
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 25, 2014
  4. Sep 2, 2010 #3

    Janus

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    I think the generic term for such a device is a kinetic sculpture.
     
  5. Sep 2, 2010 #4

    Evo

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    Sounds like the old game "Mousetrap".



    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aMzbRkWGLv0
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 25, 2014
  6. Sep 2, 2010 #5

    Janus

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    The particular kinetic sculpture described sounds like it might be the "Gravitram".

    Gravitram-OMSI-w-Shab.jpg
     
  7. Sep 2, 2010 #6

    Evo

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  8. Sep 2, 2010 #7
    I'm wearing a ball bearing device right now.
     
  9. Sep 2, 2010 #8

    Janus

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    Yep, that's what I'm thinking about, I just don't know if this is what the OP is looking for.
    By the way, http://www.omsi.edu/" [Broken], the home of the original Gravitram is located right here in Portland, OR.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  10. Sep 2, 2010 #9
    I don't think that kinetic sculpture can be considered a Rube Goldberg device, because the latter is a device meant to accomplish a simple task in a ridiculously complex fashion. Maybe a very complex gumball vending machine could be, but even then...

    Anyway, it can't be bad any time the name of Reuben Lucius Goldberg is mentioned.

    rube-goldberg.jpg
     
  11. Sep 2, 2010 #10
    I thought it looked familiar! My son and I saw it in action while visiting my brother. :)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
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