DIY automatic ball balancing machine [Video]

Chris Davies - Apr 28, 2010, 10:12 am CDT
DIY automatic ball balancing machine [Video]

Forget your Newton’s Cradle or that squeezy stress toy; this might just be the best executive desk toy so far.  The handiwork of 0zimbra0, this simple square of wood is – thanks to a couple of servos, a webcam and our old friend the Arduino – capable of keeping a ball bearing either balanced or following continually moving patterns.

Video demo after the cut

The software can – by jiggling the servos about and thus controlling the angle of the board – get the ball to move to any point.  That point could be stationary, it could be moving (so, say, the ball moves in a circular pattern) or it can even track your mouse pointer.

Unfortunately there’s no sign of the Arduino code, so if you want to build something like this yourself then you’ll need to figure it out on your own.  Slap in a few slightly quieter servos, however, and it would make the perfect desktop distraction.

[via MAKE]

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