Via: Steven Johnson
Monday, May 31, 2010
Sunday, May 30, 2010
Signor D. G. Alzetta's "Mechanical Horse" (Meccanica Cavallo) was built in 1932
Described in the papers at the time it was "designed to substitute for the farm animal or even light tractor, has been invented by an engineer here, Signor D. G. Alzetta. Propelled by a motor of only 5 horse power, the uncanny mechanical animal not only carries a person but pulls a light farm vehicle over rough ground. The metal beast presents a weird appearance as its long skinny legs carry it along at a fair speed. It reminds the spectator of a huge grasshopper, or better still, of something seen in a bad dream.
The mechanical animal is made entirely of light steel tubing. The joints have been carefully worked out. Signor Alzetta says he studied equine anatomy to produce them. The driver sits amidships, on a spring-equipped motorcycle saddle, The motor is directly in front of him. Ahead rises the ominous-looking head and shoulders, he controls the "critter" by motorcycle handlebars and a lever. He starts it off at a walk and can get it up to a trot, but not a gallop.
Signor Alzetta's next development is to equip his quadruped with a higher-powered motor, to see if it will draw a plow.
"I see no reason why legs should not be as fundamentally a motive force as wheels," Signor Alzetta said. "Practically everything that nature permits to move, except the enormous forces of the sea and glaciers, gets there on legs. Wheels were the invention or afterthought of men."
Via: Cybernetic Zoo
Saturday, May 29, 2010
Friday, May 28, 2010
Isle of Man? too popular and far too crowded. Moto GP? pish posh. TTEXP? yesterdays news. The sport we live for, the sport we get into bloody beer tainted fistfights over for is Dutch National Motorcarierchampionships.
With just the right combination of danger, teamwork, technical advancement and agriculture, this thrill and hour sport leaves us only is despair that there will be nothing to replace it when today's heroes get too old, sober, or attracted to shiny objects to race anymore.
Watch as lovely, sunny Holland gets one more step to becoming a real paradise as the motorized wheelbarrows run free. We wish we were there.
Thanks to Amro for sending us the links to the pictures, forums and videos
One of the perks of having this blog is corresponding with the various enthusiasts, artists, and designers that contact me. In this case it is the amazing designer/ social humorist Steven Johnson.
Steven has very generously scanned a large amount of his motorcycle and bicycle based designs for us to savor, but instead of having one large feature we are going to post the work of our new friend every day for the next few weeks (or even more as Steven's fertile imagination is boundless).
You can also buy his book What The World Needs Now directly from his website.