A Dancing Jack Frost

Votes: 1
Views: 450

Where would this idea be applied?
The illustrated dancing snowman is a simple mechanism that combines articulation and side shift to provide adjustable on-the-go variable head and body motion to an inflatable yard decoration.

What problem does your design idea solve?
Most holiday yard decorations are static or systematically articulating. This design incorporates motion as a variable and may be choreographed to music or speech.

What are the potential benefits?
The dancing snowman would make the holiday display experience much more attractive.

How does your design work?
Two swashplates are connected to a spine using a pinned (non-rotating along the axle axis) spherical joint. Four or more actuators control the head and body motion simultaneously.

For those interested in more information, the design is explained in detail within US Patent 11,666,126 B2.

How is your idea novel or an improvement on what is currently available in the marketplace?
There have been similar mechanisms with two swashplates; however, they have yet to implement a fixed planar separation distance between them to provide a genuinely articulating and side-shifting mechanism. For various reasons, the distance between the two swashplates has been variable. The new mechanism would allow the yard inflatables more flexible motion to animate the holiday display experience.

Where would this idea be applied?
The idea could be applied to various holiday yard inflatables, including St. Patrick’s Day, Halloween, Christmas, etc.

What is the market potential?
Those who appreciate more animated yard displays with audio synchronization might be interested in this new development in inflatables with erratic movement.

How would your product be manufactured?
The product could use conventional molding, casting, welding, and machining methods; additionally, some software controller logic would enhance the operation for the general user.

How would the production cost compare with products already in the marketplace?
The number of components is relatively equivalent to the conventional axle today. There would be a slight increase in the number of actuators required. The software to control the mechanism would be developed for each application from the building block of code.

A prototype has been developed to validate the concept. A video shows the prototype using a DS4 controller to control the motion of the inflatable.



Voting is closed!


  • Name:
    Daniel Cowley
  • Type of entry:
  • Software used for this entry:
    Alibre Design Expert, DST SimWise Motion