Bristlebots Revisted

(from : Flickr : fdecomite)

I’ve noticed that when a new idea turns up, often it’s immediate use is as a toy… which I think is a useful creative path – “play” gives people a consequence-free medium in which to experiment with things. I went on about Bristlebots a while back, apropos of nothing… just thought they were a neat idea and that it was cool how the bristlebot meme propagated.

Now it appears they may have a useful application – in a theoretical sense at least… as a means for launching spaceships. I kid you not. There has long been talk about the use of a space-elevator for escaping earth’s gravity – basically a long cable that is held in place by the centrifugal force of the earth spinning. There was always a problem however with how to propel the car/ship.

It turns out that a guy from the EU Space Agency has demonstrated a possible method – using bristlebots… but instead of vibrating the bristlebot, you vibrate the thing it’s standing on – in this case the cable.

So there you go.

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  1. […] bristlebots which are essentially simulating molecular behaviour at a macro level using brownian motion… […]

  2. […] one of which is that I tend to get hung up on what look like “threads of innovation”. Bristlebots for example. Lego-rubik’s-cube solvers… Rubik’s Cubes. Hexapods. Guerilla-Art […]

  3. […] are Scribblebots. A Scribblebot is only as good as its paintbrush. The ones above are made by attaching cell-phone vibrators to toothbrushes. The ones below are made by putting hamsters in micro-zorbs – so they’re not really robots […]

  4. […] So it is with bristlebots – I’ve touched on this before with the thing where the bristlebot turned into a possible engine for a space elevator. […]

  5. […] that perspective is worth 80 pts of IQ – one man’s daft-idea is another man’s space-technology or medical life-saver. We’ve seen this with bristlebots (see prev links […]