Have been playing around with the HexBug Vex ball machines and had an idea for a revised ball. Enclosed is my sketch of a modular 25mm ball that could also be used for other things. Such as an end foot on the Bumper Switch, oriented downwards to feel the edge of a table. Have a look and maybe one day we’ll see these in a kit.
Vex IQ - Job 0001 - 25mm Ball.pdf (52.8 KB)
Yes, that would be an interesting part, but the flat area cause by pin hole would probably cause havoc in ball machines (balls standing still on their flat end, or easier creation of arches of balls).
Thank you for the observation Philo. That is something I didn’t noticed at time of designing the ball. Though the flat areas of the ball would be filled in with the 1x Pitch Standoff. This standoff is used to keep the two halves together. If I have some time, I’ll update the drawing and see how the whole assembly looks. Instead of flat areas, maybe they become slight bumps (the tip end of the standoff protrudes slightly past the connection hole)… Now that I have a chance to think about it; if they do become slight bumps, than the ball will roll differently by not having a perfectly spherical exterior surface. But a little random chaos inside a ball machine is a good thing?
While the addition of the two snap holes to the balls used for ball machines might cause issues with rolling, thanks for the feedback about the desire for spheres with multiple connection points as a different ball for use in future kits. The HEXBUG VEX Robotics Orbit set already includes a few similar spheres with various mounting options, but they are all difference sizes from the 25mm Ball Machine Ball.
The 76mm sun has a five-cluster of round mounting snap holes, the 38mm earth has a square shaft mounting hole, and the 19mm moon has a single round snap mounting hole.
Thank you for taking the time to look into my product idea. I’ll have a look at the HexBug Orbit kit to see what they have. It is always interesting to see how basic building elements get reused in unique functions.