507 Mechanical Movements

This is a neat little book I stumbled across a while ago, but recently found is available for free on Google Books. Essentially, it is a list of 507 different mechanical movements compiled in the 19th century, with illustrations and a small blurb describing each one. Not all of them are relevant to FRC, but it would make an interesting pdf to flip through while you try and think up new game piece manipulators. At any rate, it’s a neat little book to get you thinking.

507 Mechanical Movements

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_8aH-M3PzM0 is a related video made by the US Navy during the 1950’s talking about their fire control computers. There are some pretty interesting mechanical systems in there.

EDIT: 2 Warnings, don’t start reading the book Ian posted if you have something you need to do. The same for that video. The videos wasted the majority of a day for me (reading more and whatnot). Looks like this book is doing the same.

:eek: These videos may be the best use of taxpayer dollars I have ever seen. I’ve got some cool stuff I want to try now!

Wow. What an interesting book! I better study up on this, wanting to become a mechanical engineer and all. Some of these systems are ingenious!

I think that the day that I finish reading the game manual for the 10th time we will figure out our strategy and read through this book to see if any of the systems we make can be simplified.

By the way, excellent find!

PS. I just sent this to both of my Physics teachers!

Thanks for posting, always fun looking through stuff like this.

There’s an exhibit at the Boston Museum of Science that is very similar to this. It’s a hallway filled with little models of movements, linkages and other mechanical devices that operate on a button so you can see them actually operate.

Many of the creative ones like #27 in the book are on display so you can actually see them functioning. It’s by far my favorite exhibit there!


Ah yes, the good old days when a computer was a mechanical device. Would a mechanical engineer be considered a “programmer” in those days?

I have a copy of this book on my bookshelf. There is some really cool stuff in there!

Hmm, thats a good question. I don’t even have an answer to that question.

If you *really *have time to burn, check out this video, then read the 21 page thread here by the inventor that explains how the Newbould Indexer came to be. It’s the 28th Basic Mechanism ever invented, and involves gears with a non-integer number of teeth to directly set an angle in degrees, minutes and seconds. :smiley:

Animated model in the Smithsonian: http://www.newbould.com/PM/indexer.MPG

EDIT: Do have a look see at the models here: http://kmoddl.library.cornell.edu/model.php

A good source for mechanisms:

Sclater & Chironis
Mechanisms and Mechanical Devices Sourcebook

I have the fourth edition. Very useful. Link to upcoming fifth edition provided below:

Here’s some more fun ones that my principal sent me the other day…






and a few more…




some of these are insanely hard to visualize.