Video: 170-year-old robotic sofa balances on one leg
'Balance from Within' uses satellite gyroscopes (and magnets) to keep itself together.
Thursday 29 August 2013
A 170-year-old sofa balancing itself on one leg is unusual. A 170-year-old sofa balancing itself on one leg that collapses and is then joined back together with magnets is rarer still. Add a healthy dose of allegory on top of that and, well, you’ve got yourself a pretty unique sofa.
Called ‘Balance from Within’ the sofa in question is the creation of Jacob Tonski, artist-in-residence at the STUDIO for Creative Enquiry. Once hoisted into position the sofa balances itself through the use of a pair of reaction wheels – mechanisms that are typically used to orientate satellites and other spacecraft.
The sofa is “continuously teetering, responding internally to external forces” and indeed, watching the video one can see slight twitches in its frame as it adjusts itself to stay upright. The wheels inside it work by creating angular momentum through a spinning mass, operating in a similar fashion to a gyroscope.
The sofa itself (an early-Victorian piece from the 1840s that Tonski found in a junkshop) was chosen because, as pieces of furniture, sofas play host to “the full range of social interactions”: “from dinner to chatting to job interviews to sex.”
“Sofas are these ubiquitous, often very humble things,” says Tonski, “built by man to facilitate social interaction – is it any wonder that their footing is so solid when they’re made to build these delicate structures we build – relationships – prone to falling apart, prone to falling down.”
Luckily for the sofa, Tonski has deconstructed it and filled its frame with magnets. When the sofa fall it breaks into pieces and can be snapped back together to balance once more.
(Via Creative Applications)
The sofa balancing. The twin reaction wheels that stabilise themselves. The collapsed sofa ready to be put back together with magnets.
Life & Style blogs
Victoria's Secret models star in new nude Russell James book
Spider app launched to help arachnophobes identify the creepy-crawlies they find at home
Jennifer Lawrence nude pictures leaked: Reddit removes 'The Fappening' board dedicated to sharing naked pictures of celebrities
More women are now playing video games than men
A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
The political class is doing what Hitler couldn’t – destroying Britain
Scottish independence: Nationalist leader Jim Sillars threatens pro-union companies with 'day of reckoning' after independence
Scottish independence: Yes campaign feels the heat as Alex Salmond's NHS claims come under furious attack
Portuguese academic says British are 'filthy, violent and drunk'
£23m Birmingham cycle scheme is attacked by Tory councillor for not catering to the elderly
- 1 Scottish independence: Ireland since 1919 is a lesson for Scotland in what a Yes vote means
- 2 Watch a man race the Circle line - and win
- 3 A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
- 4 Grandmas keep accidentally tagging themselves as Grandmaster Flash on Facebook
iJobs Gadgets & Tech
£35000 - £50000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior QA Engineer (Agil...
£40000 - £50000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our retail client ...
£400 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client are currently seekin...
£45000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based in Chelmsf...