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In MAKE 07 we feature I-Wei Huang, one of my favorite Makers who creates all sorts of steam powered RC controlled robots – When not digitally animating the creatures he dreams up, I-Wei Huang uses steam to breathe life. A 3D animator by day, Huang’s extracurricular interests are far from virtual. In his free time, he employs steam engines to power robots and other mechanical motleys that he designs and builds himself — creations fitting snugly into the genre of steampunk (think cyberpunk with Victorian-era technology). “I loved steampunk even before I knew what it was. I’ve always had a passion for low-tech machines.” Huang’s engines of choice use water vapor at pressures of around 10-20 psi (about what a bike pump can deliver) to move pistons and turn a flywheel, generating power. After buying a miniature steam engine for fun about a year ago, Huang soon yearned for more: a fully functioning, steam-powered, radio-controlled (RC) robot…

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