20041011
Electro-magnetic suspensions & buggy
This past spring, I pushed buggy for Kappa Kappa Gamma, and during our practices, I spoke to a few teammates about potential buggy designs. Among them was the potential use of electro-magnets to provide not only the suspension, but to reduce friction by suspending the axles in a huge hollow magnet. Fins would be attached to the axle to prevent it from moving laterally (click thumbnail). To power the magnets, I figured a variety of 'legal' inputs would be allowed. Kinetic energy from the pusher's movements, energy created in the heel of the shoe, maybe we could even put in some windmills into the body of the buggy! To transfer the energy created by the pusher, all he would have to do is grab the pushbar and complete a circuit. Voila!

Why write about all this now? Today I was reading through the NYTimes and came across this article about Bose developing an electro-magnetic suspension for Lexus. Apparently my idea is over two decades old.

Another idea regarding the suspension and steering of the buggy was to get it to lean into the corners like a motorcycle, that way the roadholding abilities of the buggy will improve. Somewhere down the line, the buggy's will be going around the turn before hill 3 at such high speeds that they will have trouble sticking to the road. Fortunately, whoever is up for designing this system will have Mercedes' system to work off of. The F400 Carving and especially the F300 Life Jet should provide more than enough information and guidance!

Next up, let's talk aerodynamics!

Update: Fine guys, rain on my parade. Apparently the magnets would be too heavy and require too much power making any theorized gains negligible. In fact it would actually be detrimental to the buggies... fantastic. If everyone thought like that in the past we'd still be peddling around like the Flintstones.