[Cyborg] coded magnets

Anthony Di Franco di.franco at aya.yale.edu
Fri Oct 22 11:51:23 PDT 2010

I was recently looking at another sort of magnetic gear which would be
rather easier to build and useful for high-force/torque actuators:

Tell me if you understand how the magnetic CVT in here works:

On Fri, Oct 22, 2010 at 08:39, Eric Boyd <mrericboyd at yahoo.com> wrote:
> http://science.slashdot.org/story/10/10/22/1220230/Programmable-Magnets
> http://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/gadgets/news/4337757
> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m4m81JjZCJo&feature=channel_page
> ** non-contact attachment (this is amazing!) **
> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W9-iF67UxXk&feature=channel
> I am super impressed with (a) how simple this idea is and (b) how useful
> it might be!
> That non-contact attachment video has a trick, because it's actually
> impossible to have unconfined magnetic levitation of static magnets (no
> matter how you arrange them, even in 3D!).  The trick is that holder
> they show - it constrains movement in five of the six degrees of
> freedom, and at least one of the those prevented movements is essential
> to how the trick works.  It's still pretty awesome though and can be
> used in many of the situations they propose.
> Like the slashdot commenters, I'm a little concerned about the longevity
> of placing so many tiny magnets next to each other - won't they cause
> each other to slowly loose strength, limiting their lifetime?  I'm also
> a little mystified at how they make them - they must have the tiniest
> (yet super powerful) electro-magnet arrays?
> Still, I can see this being used everywhere in the next 5 years.  It
> gives me a "welcome to the future" kind of feeling :-)
> Eric
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