Steel Ball Contraptions (YT)

Daydreaming recently about my favorite Sesame Street segment, the counting steel ball clips (this kind, not that kind, although the latter is a close second), and inspired by this here Digg Video entry of a wooden kinetic “Octopult” sculpture, I went a-surfing and found a few other nifty steel-ball videos. By far my favorite so far is the ceiling one. The Disc Lift is a clever way to raise the balls to the top, extra credit for using plexiglas! =D Let’s Play Outside is another such contraption, with nifty pass-offs in the middle and a quaint little outdoor scene at the base. Flight of the Bumblebee (an overused classical piece, IMHO) is one of Eddie‘s wider machines that I’ve seen and features a few percussion implementations. The Screw Lift is nothing new as far as these ball machines go, and although neither is the Chain/Fork lift from the Bumblebee, both are still just as fun to watch. Here’s a two-parter demonstration of some of the mechanical aspects involved in making the rotating functions operate smoothly — gearhead porn if you ask me =P Another of Eddie’s clever ideas include the Snake and Mouse finale, whereby one solitary ball appears as if scurrying away from a multiball snake some distance behind. Last in this delighful collection is a VT Link (?) device that has a few clever ball resetting elevators, grabs and release timers that I could just watch all day long. Reminds me of the times lazily sitting in my grandfather’s brightly sunlit plantation house sitting room of olde watching the little steel ball clock as each rose to top, passed a trigger on its way down and stood in queue for another turn.

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