Monday, January 19, 2015

Flexible Coupling Applications - Children's Museum

While not all activities with your toddler are created equally, I have found that exploring children's museums with my two year old son have proved to be particularly entertaining. Being a flexible coupling guy, front and center for me were all of the innovative and clever mechanical power transmission applications that museum developers had dreamed up for their young customer base.

Attached below are two examples inside the Kohl Children's Museum in Glenview, Illinois. (Who knew children's museums were such a great learning lab for power transmission?)

Child/Hydraulic Powered Spray Fountain

In this application, a user (child) uses a hand crank to drive a water pump to fill a large reservoir, with a Lovejoy jaw coupling serving to handle a considerable amount of misalignment (kid powered systems take considerable abuse, and there was definitely clear misalignment between the hand crank and the pump). Once full, the reservoir would automatically empty via a valve that would squirt the water up through a hole... pushing the red ball into the air.

Rolling Ball Sculpture Exhibit / Kinetic Ball Machine

In this rolling ball sculpture exhibit (also known as an auto kinetic ball machine), one electric motor power transmission system and gravity to move balls through a series of intricate and interesting pathways.

While both exhibits above focus in on the use of Lovejoy jaw couplings, the museum also showcased a tremendous array of other power transmission solutions, inclusive of belt drives, chain drives, linear motion, conveyors, pneumatics, and gearing (inclusive of bevel gearing). 

Ready for a company field trip to your local children's museum?

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