Perpetual Spinning Top
(A Desktop Novelty Prototype)
by Matt Bailey

Jan. 10, 2004
 

 


You can keep a toy top spinning indefinitely if you put it on a cookie sheet and vary the pitch and roll so the top is always falling down the gravity well.
 
My first attempt to automate this process employed a "wobbling" platform. It didn't work well. With a regular movement the top would always find it's way to the bottom of the gravity well.
Video
Video Close up
Video with Top

Design 1
"Wobbling Platform"

Status:
FAILED


The Second Attempt used a swinging platform. It worked a little better. I think with fine enough workings it might maintain the top spinning. But it would be a very delicate balance.
Stand alone video
Video with Top

Design 2
"Swining Platform"

Status:
FAILED


The Perpetual Top was inspired by this entry
in the Guinness Book of World Records.

This one works! It will spin the top indefinitely. I use the inverted lid from an old Wok. It works by spinning the shallow bowl and drawing the top up out of the gravity well. As the top tends toward the bottom of the well it is constantly drawn to the center of the bowl.

Send any comments to:
Matthew.Bailey@Charter.net


Video 1
Video 2
Video with Narration

Future efforts would try different bowl shapes and sizes. As a commercial product it would have to be as small a bowl as possible, and would have to run much more quietly.

Commercializing this design would take a lot of work.

Design 3
"Spinning Bowl"

Status:
SUCCESS!

SUCCESS!

SUCCESS!

SUCCESS!

SUCCESS!

SUCCESS!

Other Inventions by Matt Bailey