Let's Make Robots!

Don Quixote - "The Solar Quest"


Forward by :- Don Quixote - (The Ingenious Hidalgo Don Quixote of La Mancha)

The Solar Quest - A legendary story powered by the Sun alone.


I Don Quixote of La Mancha hereby introduce my Solar Powered Horse "Rocinante"




(Rocín in Spanish means:- work-horse or low-quality horse ("nag") - ante means:-to go forward)

He started out as a 6 pieces of Balsa Wood which the carpenter no longer needed.

His legs come from the Blacksmith in the local village - (he donated 6 spokes off his racing steed).

From the towns Alcamist came the photovoltaic cells (photo means light - voltaic means voltage).

The Clock-Smith afforded me 6 cogs on approval (to be recycled pending wear and tear).



 Video URLs - Don Quixote - "The Solar Quest"

                     Don Quixote - "The Making of"

Alternative Forward by :- Gareth - ( The indigenous Celtic-man residing in La-Suisse ).



The Full Set up consists of a Single Geared Pager motor, which drives

the six cogs.


The cogs drive stainless steel spokes set up as Linear actuators (kind of).

The timing/meshing of the cogs allow the horse to move forward 10mm

each rotation.

Originally the project was going to have 6 legs however it soon became

evident that the movement called out for a horse design.

 Now he Trots on 4 legs (with two spare legs!!! in case he gets tired).

The Horse is carved by hand out of Balsa wood.





My project would not be complete without some PolyMorph.

Don Quixote referes to the hat as :-

"The Golden Helmet of Malbrino" - it has magical powers

However in truth its only a shaving bowl that the local town

Barber uses to shave his customers.


His rucksack doubles as his SolarPowered power source.

Hidden inside it are the electronics - a Miller Solar Engine.

The Solar engine supplies the pager motor with "Bursts" of current.

In full sunlight this is a continous stream of power - "Full gallop".

Under room lighting it gives more of a "Trot & Stop".




Six Pieces of Balsa wood make up the body of the Horse.

I choose Balsa as it weighs next to nothing and easy to form.

The axle holes are filled with graphite from a 6B pencil,

allows a very smooth slippery fritionless movement.

At the bottom of each leg is an eyelet made from stainless steel,

these are the guides for the spokes.






"Wooden Head"













This was the First Test Setup, basically to work out the meshing of

the gearing system - as there are endless combinations.


Yes that is "Steri-Strip" on my thumb,

sustained from slipping with a 50mm X-acto Blade.







10 mm/cycle

even on Glass

(put that in your pipe and smoke it)



Don Quixotes "Make over".

White Spray Painted custom cardboard By-Stander,then bronzed and oversprayed silver.

Cotton beard and Waxed moustache.

Giving Rustic Stressed "Olde Look"




Ending Quote :-

"Follow your Dreams - wherever they may take you".







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I wanted to take another look at your charming Solar Quest video, but it's gone!

Have you taken it down or have the YouTube copyright militia quashed it for some obscure reason?

look as if simple,but it is very efficiency


Oh G!

Oh boy what can I say more???  :D

The Don Quixote is a trully success story! Thank you for making me dream ;)

Thanks guibot,

You know what, since your what can be done with one servo "Talkie Walkie" challenge entry -

- always in the back of my mind i was (day-dreaming) thinking what can be made with the minimal of components.

- so a solar powered single geared pager motor driving 6cogs was the result.

Its funny how certain impulses (from pepole) lead you into all sorts of diretions ... thanks.

I use :-

Edit Studio Pro

I am totally hooked on it ...

As you can choose which type screen to use ir green or blue or red - its up to you.

All my Videos on LMR are constructed use_ing this program.

What "green screen" program do you use?

BTW Gareth, have you seen "Lost in La Mancha"? If not, you should...

And of course, great work, as always! (all those compliments start to get old, don't they? ^_^v  )

Thanks Totoro,

 No this film i do not know, but will search it out.

Edit:- Lost in La Mancha  Terry Gilliam the Director is an ex Monty Python guy........then its a must to watch.........


No i love compliments :-) - i am a firm believer that every "work" that "one" (a person) does deserves a "Pat on the Back" (however big or small)........

.............However we need to "Pat our Own Backs" and compliment ourselves more often...........if you know what i mean....

Don't worry, i'm a really good self-patting guy ^_^ (although i'm not very flexible)

About Lost in La Mancha, it's a documentary about Terry Gilliam (ex-Monty Python and film director of Brazil or Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas for example) trying to film "The man who killed Don Quixote" starring Johnny Depp and Jean Rochefort (a french actor :) ) as Don Quixote... "trying" being the important word... I highly recommend you to watch it!