Who isn’t mesmerized by floating thingies? Better yet, what self-proclaimed geek doesn’t want some kind of magnetic levitating gadget to call their own, or see a small amphibian inserted into an extremely powerful magnetic field? We’ve scoured the web and found 12 of the most worthy magnetic levitation projects ever lifted by opposing fields. Check them out:
12. Crealev Product Display Module
With a wide range of available configurations for retailers and special events, Crealev specializes in product displays that bring that extra something to a featured item. I don’t know about you guys, but I’d totally be tempted to buy something if it was floating… maybe even an Android phone.
11. Electromagnetic Induction
This isn’t really about levitation, but rather the creation of an electromagnet as a means of induction. Nevertheless, we thought this was a good fit for our top 12 list. Science kiddos — it’s an awesome thing.
10. Levitating LEGO Monorail & Suspension Bridge
If you’re a LEGO fan there’s no way you can’t appreciate this. A maglev train supported by an earthquake resistant suspension bridge. Here’s a video of this awesome creation.
9. Möbius-Shaped Track & Levitating ‘Train’
Students at the Vestfold University College in Norway developed this magnetic work of art to prove a point. Using flux pinning, a type of levitation, the students clearly show that this method of levitation is much more stable than traditional magnetic levitation for applications like high-speed maglev trains. Why is it better? Well because you aren’t limiting your design to a horizontal track. Still, I’m not too sure I’d want to be on a train traveling at 300 mph that flipped upside down… but cool concept.
8. Fly Stick Van de Graaff Levitation Wand
Using a mini Van de Graaff generator, this wand repels included Mylar shapes with opposite static charges. Not exactly magnetic in a technical sense, but it does exhibit magnetic properties — and let’s face it, it’s freaking cool. ThinkGeek has these toys ready to ship on their website.
I own a CherryWood model myself and I can attest to the fact that it makes a great conversational piece. You’ll spend hours alone configuring the legs and weights on this thing, trust me. Grab one for yourself over at Levitron.
6. Magnetic Floating Bed
Voted a Best Invention of 2006 by Time Magazine, Universe Architecture’s Floating Bed selected its production team in 2011. The bed itself will reportedly cost an estimated $1.2 million.
5. The Float Table
Described as “a matrix of ‘magnetized’ wooden cubes that levitate with respect to one another,” the Float Table is a combination of repelling magnetic cubes held in place by a system of steel cables. Each table is handcrafted with precision detail and made to order. Here’s a video of the Float Table in action. Check out Rock Paper Robot for more information.
4. Floating Frogs
Physics really is a fascinating field of research. If you’re curious how scientists pulled this off, you might be surprised to know that it’s actually quite simple. Diamagnetic materials, like water, have an interesting property when exposed to a magnet. The material actually orients itself to oppose magnetic forces, and when you have a creature that’s mainly composed of H2O and a magnet 200 times stronger than the average store-bought magnet you get, super frog. Pretty cool!
Computer controlled levitation is something researchers at the MIT Media Lab have been toying with for a little while now. Using ZeroN, users can manipulate a magnetic ball’s position using either a computer interface or their hands. Because the machine remembers the ball’s spatial position, the movement can be played back for an indefinite amount of time. Check out the video here.
2. Levitating Mouse ‘The Bat’
Vadim Kibardin, a well-known Russian designer, is currently developing this new-age computer peripheral. As of now this stands as a proof of concept, but the designer has a good track record of bringing his designs to market. The Bat isn’t only the best looking mouse you’ll ever own either, it’s also intended to reduce pressure on user’s wrists — possibly even lowering the potential for carpal tunnel syndrome. As of writing this post, The Bat was in its first stage of pre-production.
1. Maglev Train
You’re looking at the future of ground mass-transit. Maglev trains aren’t a new concept, but they’re just beginning to really make their mark. Using an electromagnetically-powered track, passenger trains are suspended inches above a railway and rocketed away at speeds of up to 361 mph.
Chase Williams is a serial entrepreneur, professional procrastinator, dreamer, explorer and risk taker. He's been weightless aboard a NASA C9-B aircraft and his head hasn't quite come back down from the upper-atmosphere. To keep up with his low-oxygen chatter, follow him on Twitter @ChaseHWill