Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Winchworms: a Lanchester tourbillon driving a Spanish windlass

The build-your-own project I am working on for the Silver Spring Mini Maker Faire is a minimal wind-powered robot that inches its way upwind (when it gets a little help staying upright.) A winchworm consists of a wind oscillator based on the Lanchester tourbillon (see Den Hartog's Mechanical Vibrations) that drives a Spanish windlass mechanism to alternately contract and expand a bamboo bow. The feet of the bow are angled to turn alternate contraction and expansion into incremental forward movement.

More on my new blog Winchworms: Slow and Steady Wins the Race.

Winchworm under development: a test of an oscillating Lanchester tourbillon (made of paper) driving a Spanish windlass made of 1-lb test Dyneema fishing line that contracts and expands a bamboo bow.

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