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 like it.
Although it does remind me of my university Spanish Composition class.
We had to read the spanish version of Don Quixote and then write a 10000 word essay about it (in spanish, of course).
About that time, I was asking myself WHY DID I TAKE THIS COURSE????? ----- ha ha

Then I am sure you would have been impressed by my Don Quixote explained in 2 minutes video..... which got deleted by Youtube..

<<Note to self >> Please upload again minus the music.....

Im the meantime something new is brewing on my 3D print "Q" .....

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?

Hoi Andy  ...Indeedy the militia had its ears tweaked to an 1965 version of  "The impossible Dream" .... it was playing very low (errr sub low (errrr really sub low)) in the background behind my commentary.  So to save any hassle I deleted it about 2 if not 3 years ago now.

I find it easier now not to add sound tracks at all :-(  .... even creative commons stuff is not 100% legit.

BTW :- slowing or speeding up soundtracks on a video gives the sound hounds a hard job to match ;-)

I have been meaning to revive it..... ( as I also miss it .....) ...will see what I can do ..

Regards Gareth

....forgot to mention..... he still works and is turning as I write....

He has also fallen (vibrated himself) off the windowsill quite a few times...mostly the solar cell pops off .. some Hot glue and a spray of bicycle oil keeps his motors and Dreams alive....

I'm glad to know that Don Quixote is still tilting at windmills, although I wonder what he'd make of the windfarms marching across the country nowadays. 

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.