Friday, July 18, 2014

The Physics Of A Jumping Articulated Toy

Some time, it is just a pleasure to read about something that isn't too deep, and it is just fun!

This paper on EJP (which is available for free) describes the physics of a jumping kangaroo. The toy makes a complete sommersault as shown in the photo and in the video.

Abstract: We describe the physics of an articulated toy with an internal source of energy provided by a spiral spring. The toy is a funny low cost kangaroo which jumps and rotates. The study consists of mechanical and thermodynamical analyses that make use of the Newton and centre of mass equations, the rotational equations and the first law of thermodynamics. This amazing toy provides a nice demonstrative example of how new physics insights can be brought about when links with thermodynamics are established in the study of mechanical systems.

The authors may want to impart some deeper physical insight into understanding this, which may be true. But I like to take this just on face value. It is just a fun toy and a fun look at how it does what it does.


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