UD students launch gravity-defying Kickstarter - Technical.ly Delaware

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Dec. 21, 2017 7:33 am

UD students launch gravity-defying Kickstarter

Finally, a levitating object you can actually play with. Check out the Infinity Levitating Top.

The top that defies gravity.

(Courtesy image)

In just two days, the Infinity Levitating Top on Kickstarter has raised nearly $4,500 of its $5,000 goal. It’s not hard to see why people are willing to pledge $125 and upward to be one of the first to get their hands on one — a top that spins suspended in the air is cool, a grown-up toy that uses magnets to defy gravity.

“It’s not the first levitating product, but out of the wide range of objects that have been seen floating over the past year finally there is one you can actually play with,” said cofounder Adam Stager, a University of Delaware Ph.D. candidate in mechanical engineering. “Using a combination of permanent and electromagnets we have devised a way of defying gravity, keeping the spinning top afloat without restricting its spinning motion.”

Stager’s cofounder, Caili Li, is the inventor and manufacturer of the levitating technology. The two were lab mates at UD when they came up with the idea for the levitating top.

Right now, levitating technology is used mostly for aesthetic and display purposes (with notable exceptions such as the levitating light bulb and speaker), but it has the potential to be far more functional in the future. Levitating high-speed trains, or maglev, are also a thing in Japan (and maybe Baltimore one day).

“Caili believes the future lies in friction-less bearings and flywheels for storing energy,” Stager said. “I would personally like to see this technology used in interactive STEM games, teaching people about magnetism and equilibrium.”

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