Steam Powered Robots

Posted 29 Jan 2006 at 17:05 UTC by steve Share This

I noticed a memepool link this morning to Crabfu's live steam creations. These are steam powered, robot-like, radio controlled creations. They include the Steam LocoCentipede, the Live Steam Walker, and the under-construction Live Steam Horseshoe Crab. These are impressive works of engineering and, with the addition of sensors and controllers, would make impressive robots. The question is, what sort of controller would be in keeping with the Victorian technology used here? Cams? A Difference Engine? If you need further inspiration to build a steam powered robot, Crabfu provides a nice page of Steam power links that will take you to photos of real and fictional strange Victorian steam powered machines and Steam Power forums.

power..., posted 30 Jan 2006 at 13:01 UTC by JamesBruton » (Master)

This is really interesting and some dedicated hobby engineering. I considered that steam could give you lots of power for a robot several years ago but never got around to trying it, mainly due to the hassle of burning fuel and dealing with the smoke and steam that result.

Perhaps a practical solution requiring less dedicated engineering would be to use a portable petrol generator on a mobile robot, this would give mains (outlet) electricty at 500W + of power with a running time in excess of 4 hours so you could power almost anything required from it on board the robot. Or, how about a petrol powered compressor to power pneumatics/hydraulics if the robot had legs and required piston type actuators... would have to be outside anyway due to exhaust fumes.

As far as a suitable controller goes, what about morse code over a wire, or blowing air down a tube in order to mechanically couple it the other end?.

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