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device that applies braking force proportional to speed? Answered

Hi, I'm helping a team of students make a brake-assist device for a two-wheeled walker. 

We were wondering if there are mechanical brakes out there that apply a force proportional to the speed.  A circular damper, is how we would describe it, I think.  Or something like a gas shock (the things on screen doors and car trunks) but with a circular motion rather than a linear stroke.  Anyone have any ideas?  Anything that's commercially available, small, and somewhat inexpensive is fair game.  Bonus points for things that can be made by hand..  Thanks!

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drakesword (author)2010-04-11

Or an old school centrifugal ball brake. Look at old elevator safety brakes.

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lemonie (author)2010-02-17

Electric brakes. AKA "dynamic braking" or "rheostatc braking", or "regenerative braking"

Fit an electric motor/generator, activate by switching it to power an electric heater.

www.trains.com/trn/default.aspx

L

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_mattb (author)lemonie2010-02-18

I've heard that idea tossed around; I think we could experiment with it easily.  The trick, as I see it, would be to make it small and light enough that it's not cumbersome.

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lemonie (author)_mattb2010-02-18

small and light enough that it's not cumbersome.
Electrical generators may weigh a bit, but the electric load-bank could be rather light. Think about clever-mechanical activation (non-human) and I don't think you'd beat "light" by much, if at all. It's simple enough to do today (if you've got the parts)

L

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Kiteman (author)2010-02-17

A governor that triggers a switch at a certain point?

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NachoMahma (author)2010-02-17

.  Hold the bell of a centrifugal clutch still and you have a brake.

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