Dynamo Rover Rolls Along, Sans Batteries

Dynamo Rover

Dynamo Rover

YouTube player

Kids seem to have unlimited energy sometimes. And what better way to capture that energy by making Dynamo Rover with them. This human-powered bot was created by Instructables user masynmachien. One of the two servo motors acts as a dynamo, converting muscle power into electricity, which runs along a wire to the other servo and makes the bot move. The bot is adorned with cornstarch-based playcorn, a light craft material that gives it a bit of personality and fun color. You can even steer the rover by cranking the dynamo in reverse, using a system that reminds me of the cheapest R/C cars of my youth:

Inspired by toys from the times that remote control largely relied on mechanical solutions, I made the backwards movement into a steering action. By making one wheel run forwards only and cleverly positioning the other wheels, you can still go straight forwards, but moving backwards becomes turning, almost on the spot.

[via Hacked Gadgets]

Discuss this article with the rest of the community on our Discord server!

Matt Richardson is a San Francisco-based creative technologist and Contributing Editor at MAKE. He’s the co-author of Getting Started with Raspberry Pi and the author of Getting Started with BeagleBone.

View more articles by Matt Richardson
Maker Faire Bay Area 2023 - Mare Island, CA

Escape to an island of imagination + innovation as Maker Faire Bay Area returns for its 15th iteration!

Buy Tickets today! SAVE 15% and lock-in your preferred date(s).