The Ball Bearing Motor Mystery

Why does it spin?

The ball bearing motor is simply a metal shaft with two ball bearing races connected to the ends of it. When a current is applied to the ball bearings and the motor is given a spin, it continues to spin and no one knows why. Adding on to the mystery, the motor works with both AC and DC supplies and it rotates in either direction despite the polarity of the current. 

This motor has potential applications in micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) technology, such as micro-motors. However for it to be fully utilised more needs to be known about it. Our project aims to characterise this motor. In particular we are trying to find the relationship between torque and its angular velocity. This will be achieved by simulating a simplified version of the motor using a program called ANSYS and conducting measurements on a physical motor.

Transforming technologies


Electrical and Electronic Engineering

Jayden Hayward
Richard Saing

vote for this project: TT63

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