The Torofluxus a cool physics toy. I thought it would be great to create a motorised version, with a loop of string, motor, and a distance sensor to pull the string up at the same speed the Torofluxus rolls down. This is another step in my evil plan to train robots to do juggling and manipulation, so they can have fun too. 😉

I thought it was going to be easy to detect the height of the Torofluxus. ARRRRGH, we spent days on this, trying all the common distance sensors; Infra-red, ultrasonic, Time-of-Flight. Nothing was reliable. I even started to develop Machine Learning and web cam based versions to detect it’s position on a Raspberry Pi. Humans can easily see where it is, but it proved to be a lot harder for all these sensors.

Finally… Mad props to Danny’s mega brain for figuring out how to detect the position of the Torofluxus.

An early quick proof of concept with Aran.

Cad and 3D Modelling in Rhino (Solidworks would be my tool of choice, this was a chance to learn Rhino.)

It’s a working proof of concept now. The next stage will be to make a beautiful version.
With thanks to Danny, Aran, Jarkman and Max for advice and to MCP for playing too.

To Do: Drew you need to add some more photos here.