Shown above is a teaser photo of the 360 RotoRat prototype, a rather exciting new drive tool concept. The 360 RotoRat consists of a remote ratchet head that mates with a tapered drive socket to be used in extremely tight or restricted work spaces.
The “360” of the “360 RotoRat” refers to the tool’s capability of 360° unrestricted rotation, which would definitely come in handy when working on certain projects. With this in mind, when we first saw the RotoRat concept, we considered it to be a compact remote and extendable palm-ratchet.
The RotoRat is also designed to greatly reduce “torsion twisting,” which can result from an uneven transmission of applied torque to a fastener head. Since the RotoRat ratchet head is driven in an axial manner, torque – even high torque, is applied uniformly to all contact points of a fastener.
In other words, as we understand it, the 360 RotoRat should offer greater performance when used instead of a standard ratchet when there is no room to directly support a ratchet and socket above a fastener.
As you can see from the photo, Tom Barniak Jr, the inventor of the 360 RotoRat, contracted Cornwell Tools to build the prototypes. Tom is currently seeking manufacturing partners to help bring the 360 RotoRat to market. We’re crossing our fingers for this one.
While the 360 RotoRat seems useful on its own, there is a line of accesories envisioned for the tool that could greatly expand upon its flexibility and utility.
We will discuss the tool further once we have a chance to handle it a bit more, but you should know that we’re already quite impressed. In the meantime, if you would like to learn more about the 360 RotoRat, check out its very detailed patent documentation, linked below. Note that while the tool design has been improved since the patent was filed, the basic concepts remain the same.
In reference to the above photo, the component on the left is of the previous design and is only shown to for its view of the square drive.
I’d love to get my hands on one to try it out. Using it in awkward locations I’m wondering how easy it would be to keep it securely on the bolt/nut.
This thing looks cool. I can’t believe I missed this older post. I would be interested to see if it makes it to market. Hopefully they come out with a website too.
It looks like something Gearwrench would come up with.
I wonder if this idea went anywhere. Apparently not.
Last I asked about it was in early 2010, and the inventor said he was still pitching to tool companies. I guess nobody pursued production or licensing or the design yet. Many inventors renew their push every couple of years, so maybe he’s still trying.
So Stuart, did the inventor ever do anything with this idea?
I search around from time to time, but not that I have seen or heard.