Hacked Gadgets Forum

June 15, 2007

Atmel Atmega based Electromagnetic Floater

at 5:28 am. Filed under Cool Gadgets, Electronic Hacks

We have all seen these floating globes in the novelty stores and online. How would you like to build one? J. Hodgie has put together an article that will walk you through the required steps to make your own. The code for the Atmel ATMega168 Microcontroller is also provided.

“It is much like the floating globes you can buy, except it works by balancing the forces of permanent magnets with electromagnets, rather then simply using combinations of permanent magnets. This is done by using a microcontroller and an IR sensor to detect where an object is floating below. Then based on a set value, the microcontroller uses the electromagnets to to hold the floating object at a given height.

The place the object floats at depends on the weight of the object and the power of the magnets in the object. The height is set by holding the object under the magnets and sensor and pushing the button. The object floats at the point where the force of gravity down equals the force of the magnets pulling up, which allows it to use non-industrial electromagnets and less power to float. The program also dynamically adjusts so the object is always at the perfect height.”


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9 Responses to “Atmel Atmega based Electromagnetic Floater”

  1. joebob Says:

    well its about time they showed us how to make one!

  2. wuh Says:

    now, this is some crazy shit!

  3. BHSPitMonkey Says:

    I have one of the aforementioned globes, and it works by adjusting an electromagnet’s strength based on an EMF reading several times a second.

    Also, the ones you linked to all state that they need to be plugged in also.

    Just thought you guys might want to know, for the sake of accuracy in the article.

  4. Haseeb A Says:

    This is cool.
    But how does one make this with permanent magnets (so that we dont need battery’s etc)?

  5. ryan Says:

    does this have to attach to a computer?
    what do the cables end up going to?

  6. ryan Says:


  7. adhy Says:

    wow, can you give me the circuit of that

  8. Babe Magnet Says:

    Wow that is really cool,

  9. other ryan Says:

    Hi all- to Haseeb: the only ways i know of using only permanent magnets are:
    A) superconductors and liquid nitrogen.
    B) one or both of the magnets spinning as in a top, this stabilizes the magnet and keeps it from flipping over.
    C) using something diamagnetic (repels all magnets, regardless of polarity) like bismuth or graphite to provide stabilization.

    to ryan: there’s one cable that goes up to control the electromagnets in the top thing, and another cable that is attached to a power source. the micro-controller IS a small computer.

    to adhy: there’s a ling at the bottom to the original site.

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