The Roller-Ball Roller Coaster; An unused Rollercoaster design

While searching through old patent designs of rollercoasters I came across this unusual design. To my knowledge, no ride has every been built yet using this patent and for maybe good reason, it seems scary!

Here is a quote from the patent: “A novel roller coaster comprising a spherical, rotating, rider-enclosure, wherein the rollercoaster is transported along or within a track configured to transport the coaster, while converting coaster kinetic energy from potential energy and back.”

Upon first impressions it seems that riders would be thrown into a ball and tossed down the tracks. That is basically true of this design. Riders would be strapped inside this ball and roll down some coaster tracks. There is one small thing inside this ride vehicle though that should make the trip a little less crazy. Inside this ride vehicle is a gyroscopic system that would be controlled by a computer.

So, while rolling down a track sounds like anyone inside would be tossed around like ragdolls, that might no be the case because the computer would control how much roll the riders inside experience. The computer could be programmed to limit how much the inside portion swirls about in the chaos or let it roll freely based on the track design (hopefully it would not be doing any loops!). The inventor of this new type of coaster is Joseph M. Cleary.

A scary thought would be ‘What if the computer fails?’ during the ride? What if the inside portion of the vehicle were free to move around the cabin? Well, riders would sure experience a ride of their life based on what I can guess! Albeit there would probably be some sort of safety mechanism like on elevators to stop it from moving if a computer failed. But one always must imagine What If.

Oh my gosh, what if someone hurled on this ride? Would it stay within the vehicle, swirling all around hitting the other riders? Oh boy, that seems like a terrible nightmare for both the guests and the employees who have to clean up after the unfortunate guest.

What theme park would even give this new ride type a chance? It would probably be a Six Flags park. They have a history of pushing the limits with new coaster types in the hopes of attracting a specific type of parkgoer who travels for that latest and newest ride.

It’s definitely unlike anything out there on the market. The closest coaster type this reminds me of is a pipeline roller coaster which you can still find in japan. The pipeline coaster

Would this ride be a keeper or sadly get torn down after a few years? My guess would be it depends. Is a nice medium intensity attraction built or is a high intensity attraction built with the ride vehicle? If it’s a high intensity attraction, I could easily see far too much negative feedback in the first year as the ride manufacturer hasn’t had time to tweak the mechanics of the attraction to make it 100% satisfactory.  The coaster in it’s first year might be subject to long loading times, delays, and a ride that is turbulent.

Hopefully if this ride is ever made, a medium intensity ride would first be made so all the kings could be worked out easily. I would happily give this ride a test when it’s first created.

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