I have a work to make an invention on simple machines. First of all I am sorry if my English is not very good or clear. As we all know, simple machines are used to simplify things in life and use less work (mechanical advantage). My concept is using a pulley to pull things up, but I want to use like a machine that needs to be stepped (lever type 3) to move the pulley. But I feel like there is a flaw to my invention, and feel very frustated. This is my concept visualization: enter image description here

P.S: Sorry for the language usage (Image is semi-English and semi-Indonesian language)

Thank you for the help.

  • $\begingroup$ It's a bit hard to understand? Do you want to get the red pulley to roll up the rope? Is the rope on the "pedal" not the same as the rope on the bucket? If you want to lift the bucket by repeatedly stepping on the pedal, you need some kind of ratcheting mechanism and a spring to return the pedal into its original position. $\endgroup$
    – kruemi
    Feb 28, 2022 at 13:42
  • $\begingroup$ Hello kruemi and thanks for the reply. Yes I think you got what I mean, by stepping on the pedal. Although my goal is just to step on it once, it is ok for the concept to step on the pedal repeatedly. Can you explain more about me to this "ratcheting mechanism", considering I am only 8th grade and haven't learn it. Thank you very much. $\endgroup$ Feb 28, 2022 at 13:54
  • $\begingroup$ I don't think ratcheting mechanism is a simple machine. $\endgroup$ Feb 28, 2022 at 14:02
  • $\begingroup$ Hello George, if it isn't, is there any other way I can do it? Or maybe should i replace the pedal with anything else? Any ideas? Big thanks. $\endgroup$ Feb 28, 2022 at 14:08
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1 Answer 1


The idea of simple machines is usually "sacrifice length to gain force". Or the opposite, but more rarely. You have incorporated a level and pulleys in your design. Let's analyze those.

  • The lever

The first problem is that you have made a lever that, if you step on it, the weight will go down. But, it would already go down by gravity, this is not useful. You probably want to counteract gravity and make it go up, so something like this:

enter image description here

The other problem is the general idea of using a level with your foot. The thing is, you can't move your foot much. This means do not really have length to sacrifice to gain force. So, to use a lever with your foot, you have to either:

  1. Use it to lift something very light with a single motion of the foot. It's hard to find a use for this, though. Also, it means that the edge of the lever would be really long a take much space.

enter image description here

  1. Use it to lift a heavy weight, but your foot won't have enough room. To gain multiple times one floor's height, you'd probably want to jump from some roof:

enter image description here

Now that we got the lever "solved", let's discuss the pulley (which is much easier for you to do without being unrealistic).

Note that just having a pulley somewhere doesn't provide you an advantage. You have to use something like a snatch block:

enter image description here

This will indeed allow you to use a long rope to raise the weight with less effort:

enter image description here

  • $\begingroup$ Hello again. You see exactly what I see, it will not be enough to pull it up with just a single stomp on the pedal, unless like you said, jump from a really high place and most likely... die (f moment, dying for an experiment). That is also one of my problems. The concept is true, pulling. But I want to like, convert the pulling into something else, maybe stepping on a pedal (the work demands me to invent something new, something that is never made before). I would like to ask your recommended replacement for the pedal. Thank you again, George! $\endgroup$ Feb 28, 2022 at 14:20
  • $\begingroup$ Will a wheel work fine (like a pirate wheel) ? $\endgroup$ Feb 28, 2022 at 14:35
  • $\begingroup$ Hundreds of billions of people have lived, and many of them had to think smart solutions to a everyday problems. The only invention that might have not been made yet is a way to raise the weight, then let it free fall onto the head of the teacher that asks for impossible things. Yeah, make a pirate wheel gather all that rope seems OK. $\endgroup$ Feb 28, 2022 at 14:39
  • $\begingroup$ Thank you kind sir! $\endgroup$ Feb 28, 2022 at 14:41

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