Model: P01 Universal Joint
The Hooke's joint is a pair of crossed axis joints to transmit rotary motion about one axis to rotary motion about another axis. Reuleaux in his 4th edition of "The Constructor" attributes the origin of this mechanism to Cardano, in the 16th century. Cardano was the illegitimate son of a Milanese lawyer who was also a friend of Michaelangelo. A drawing of the device appeared in a book by Cardano. However it is likely that he had copied the drawing from other sources as was the tradition of their time, including Leonardo da Vinci and other Italian artist-engineers.
The mechanism is sometimes called a universal joint. One problem with this coupling is that the output axel speed will vary periodically even though the input speed id constant in time. This problem can be solved with a double universal joint shown in model P2.

Francis Moon 2003-05-29

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