The McKnelly Megalith
January 21, 2016 7:11 AM   Subscribe

Megalithic Robotics is a recent class at MIT that resulted in a very interesting object: a 2000-pound megalith that can be moved with a fingertip.
posted by ocherdraco (8 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
this seems a tad over-sold, no? that you can move things by rocking them back and forth, or rotate things balanced at a point, doesn't seem that shocking to me.

but maybe i'm not thinking straight. better have some more chocolate milk.
posted by andrewcooke at 7:34 AM on January 21, 2016 [3 favorites]

The best engineering is not fancy and complicated, but stupidly simple and useful.
posted by Zalzidrax at 7:38 AM on January 21, 2016 [4 favorites]

We did this at the U of M a long time ago....
posted by HuronBob at 7:38 AM on January 21, 2016 [2 favorites]

Partially based on the work of retired carpenter Wally Wallington - here's a short YouTube sample.
posted by fairmettle at 7:38 AM on January 21, 2016 [3 favorites]

Wally Washington sells a DVD that I picked up for a gift a few years back. Dude does some legitimately impressive things. He had a 40 foot pole barn that he wanted to move a hundred yards or so, so he picked it up and moved it, in one piece, with hand tools and a bit of help from his son.
posted by echo target at 8:09 AM on January 21, 2016 [1 favorite]

I thought it was going to be a permanent exhibit at first, and was already mentally counting down until the first undergrads squashed themselves under it.
posted by Earthtopus at 9:25 AM on January 21, 2016

Fantasy novels and movies are full of unrealistic versions of these things, where pressing a loose stone in the hearth causes a massive counterweighted stone door to raise, and then pressing another loose stone makes it close. Like most ancient technologies, it's all easier when you have teams of slaves, but there is some good engineering behind it as well.
posted by Dip Flash at 7:07 PM on January 21, 2016

Also reminiscent of Coral Castle...
posted by Hal Mumkin at 4:38 AM on January 22, 2016

« Older The incredible tale of irresponsible choco milk...   |   "Everyone puts them inside their ears, but no one... Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments