Watch This Solar Chariot Walk Like a Human

Energy & Sustainability
solar chariot by Bob Schneeveis
Bob Schneeveis on one of his solar walking chariots.
Bob Schneeveis on one of his solar walking chariots.
This exhibit will be appearing at the 10th annual Maker Faire Bay Area. Don't have tickets yet? Get them here!
This exhibit will be appearing at the 10th annual Maker Faire Bay Area. Don’t have tickets yet? Get them here!

Bob Schneeveis is on a mission to save the world from itself through the creation of sustainable solar vehicles. He has been building walking chariots and other unique conveyances since a knee injury got him interested in the structure of the knee and the mechanics of walking.

For over 30 years, Bob has worked at the Stanford University Neurobiology department, fabricating equipment for research and experimentation. He turned his skills to the creation of a model of his own knee, which led to the development of his first walking chariot, a humanoid walking machine pulling a cart made to study how humans walk.

Bob has brought his creations to Maker Faire before, and the aesthetics of the chariot have been updated for 2015. In addition to the chariot, Bob is bringing a six-legged electric pony named ‘Thunder Thief’ as a companion; this will be the pony’s public debut. An electric bicycle, also built by Bob, will be on display as well.

Bob and his creations will be wandering around the faire, drawing fascinated groups of children and adults wherever he goes. He hopes to educate people on the wide range of applications for solar charging and walking machines. Check out this footage from the 2011 Maker Faire Bay Area for a peek at one of Bob’s charming and energy efficient inventions.

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Andrew Terranova is an electrical engineer, writer and author of How Things Are Made: From Automobiles to Zippers. Andrew is also an electronics and robotics enthusiast and has created and curated robotics exhibits for the Children's Museum of Somerset County, NJ and taught robotics classes for the Kaleidoscope Enrichment in Blairstown, NJ and for a public primary school. Andrew is always looking for ways to engage makers and educators.

View more articles by Andrew Terranova


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