Thursday, January 5, 2012

The Tesla Valve


The Tesla Valve is a one-way valve with no moving parts. Its geometry resists the flow of a fluid in one direction by redirecting some of it back at itself. I don't think it perfectly stops the fluid but it greatly resists it.

Shapeways user imperator made a printable version (with an unpictured cover) which he demonstrates in the video by blowing through it.

Putting tails on terrestrial/driving robots for stabilitation

From IEEE Spectrum:

This is a really clever idea that I'm surprised I've never seen before. Researchers from UC Berkeley put a tail on an RC car robot which moves up and down to stabilize it in the air as it goes off jumps and such. The tail simply turns to move the rest of the car body in the desired position as it flies through the air. Based on conservation of angular momentum, if the tail applies a torque within the tail-body system and moves one way, the body must counteract that and move in the other direction. They are using simple but interesting physics to their advantage. This is all based on how lizards and dinosaurs jump with their tails.

The video below is helpful. It shows the car dropped from an initially nose-down position and recovering to be level, as well as going over a steep bump.