The double pendulum problem is kind of a historical/mathematical marvel. It is very easy to predict the motion of a common, everyday clock pendulum that swings back and forth; but add another pendulum at the end of that, and the complexity shoots through the roof in the most unexpected ways. It puzzled early mathematicians for years.
The system begins to exhibit chaotic motion, and the mathematics needed to solve the motion goes from simple polynomial math to Lagrange differential equations requiring a full college program of Calculus to solve. Here’s a full solution write-up.
Solving is one problem, but making something useful out of it is even more impressive. Here are two robots that can balance not only a double pendulum, but a triple! One application would be to have self-parking and skid-controllable multi-trailer semis. There are probably many more.
If the original double-pendulum mathematicians could see this, they would consider is sorcery. If you’ve ever tried to balance a broom on your hand, you should also marvel:
Cable robots are capable of some extremely fast and ultra-precise movements. They also scale to large sizes better than articulated ones. Check out the extremely fast and precise movement of this system:
Or large scale capable of carrying a human:
They also can be used for haptic feedback systems:
Ukrainian chef Dinara Kasko pairs baking and 3D printing to craft incredibly sculpted pastries that would look more at home at an art gallery than a dinner table. She works with mathematicians and sculptors to create algorithms that blend cooking and designing. Take a tasty tour of these desserts that are a treat for all the senses.
You might have seen videos or guides online about the propane or MAPP gas gun. It emits a tiny fireball that goes through a tube before diffusing with a loud bang. The man who came up with the idea is Al Stahler, and now he’s taking orders for custom made Plasma Poppers.
El Orfelinato is the latest experimental visualization from digital artist Erdal Inci (previously) as part of an artist collective he co-founded called Oddviz. Through thousands of photos and 3D scans made of an abandoned building in Istanbul, the building was then reconstructed digitally. The video pass digitally through the walls while seeing a complete photographic representation of the building. The piece is a follow-up to a similar work from a few months ago titled Hotel.