#1292: LeanAlign

Today’s invention is a way to make office chairs roll more smoothly across office flooring.

Conventional casters (with wheel centre trailing the vertical axis) always seem to end up pointing in the wrong direction. This causes carpet rucking and a massive amount of extra, irritating friction.

The new approach has the chair mounted on a shallow, conical base with casters, as shown.

To move in a certain direction, first rock in the opposite direction slightly, allowing the casters on the other half to rotate around under gravity to align themselves with the planned movement.

Rolling onto these then allows the chair to be supported and move unhindered on aligned wheels.

One Comment:

  1. The idea would benefit also from having a seat which could slide a few cm in any direction relative to the base. This would allow the sitter to slide back over the randomly orientated wheels on the ground and sit stably when in this rocked back position. As the sitter rocks forward onto the aligned undercarriage, he would then be able to slide forward just enough to roll forwards on the aligned wheels with the rear, unaligned ones completely clear of the carpet. They would lift and align themselves but with wheel centres ahead of their steering axes (enabling a quick reversal in direction) of the seat.

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