Posts Tagged ‘Mechanical horse’

1988 – “Rikky and Pete” Mechanical Horse – David Parker et al (Australian)

Plot Summary for Rikky and Pete (1988) 
Follow the lives of Rikky, a talanted geologist, and her brother Pete, an off-the-wall mechanical genius. To find peace of mind they travel to the outbacks of Australia and meet up with a desert mining town full of zany individualists.
In the movie, Pete builds a newspaper folding and launching machine accessory for his Mini-Moke car to make his 'paper round' easy to do.  He also exhibits a kinetic art piece at his sister Rikky's art show opening. It elevates and smashes eggs.
Later he heads off with Rikky to a mining town, and eventually they get a plot to mine. They need a rock drill so Pete builds the mechanical horse with multiple rock drilling heads at one end, and a hydraulic back hoe at the other. 
Produced by
Bryce Menzies …. executive producer
David Parker …. producer
Nadia Tass …. producer
Timothy White …. co-producer
Writing credits
David Parker   ….  writer
Cast includes
Stephen Kearney Pete Menzies
Nina Landis Rikky Menzies
Art Department
Aaron Beaucaire …. mechanical props assistant
Steve Mills …. mechanical props assistant

Back in November 2004 I contacted David Parker at his film production company in Port Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. He still had the "Mechanical Horse" from his "Rikky and Pete" movie (released in 1988).  In a small garage there were various props from various movies. Here's some pics of the walking machine as it was then.

The air-cooled engine above was a prop. The real motor was electric and is shown below.

Detail of knee joint.

Knee-joint close-up.

See other early Walking Machines here.

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2011 – “Iron Stallion” and other Mechanical Walking Machines – Carter Sharer (American)

Iron Stallion (Pedal Horse)

Carter's linkages remind me somewhat of Alzetta's 1933 horse.  Longer legs, a more powerful motor, lower centre of gravity, steering and one could ride this machine bicycle-like. You start and stop with the person's feet touching the surface of the road. The ride would be a bit bumpy but swift – something lacking in almost all walking machines.

Two horses bolted together give you "Clyde-n-Dale".

Home-made PETMAN – Human Walkers

Spider Machine

Dodeca Machine

See Carter Sharer's website here.

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2003 – Robo-Donkey – Christiaan Zwanikken (Dutch-Portugese)

2003 – Robo-Donkey – Christiaan Zwanikken (Netherlands-born)

Robotic donkey drives ancient Islamic irrigation system

Robotic Donkey drives Moorish water wheel from christiaan zwanikken on Vimeo.

Donkey work [Source here]

It is an ambitious project to reconstruct all the original features of an irrigation system that, 400 years ago, watered a 4 hectare monastery garden. To also restore the ancient water wheel and build a robotic donkey to turn it sounds even more implausible. In Mértola’s Convento Sao Francisco grounds all three have been successfully achieved.

Guests at the opening of the Water Museum and unveiling of the donkey were amazed to see water raised from beneath the ground and cascaded round channels. The startling contrast between a 17th century irrigation system and the antics of a 21st century robotic donkey cannot fail to impress visitors.

This is one of several restoration projects in and around the Convento. The Zwanikken family, from Holland, whose home it has been since 1980, have transformed the once ruined monastery into a fascinating place – summed up by the Dutch Ambassador, Herman Froger, in his speech at the opening, “The Zwanikkens have connected the past with the future by being here now”

The genius of Dutch artist Christiaan Zwanikken, the creator of the donkey, has received considerable international recognition. Christiaan was brought up at the Convento and attended the local school, but returned to his homeland to study fine arts. His kinetic artworks have been seen in places as diverse as Japan and Mexico and his inspiration is often taken from his childhoed and the wildlife of the Alentejo. His bull, ‘Tourinho’, hurtles back and forth and rolls from side to side, whereas ‘Knuckle Heads’ shows two stork skulls mounted on long metal rods, executing a pattern of meticulously controlled movements.

It is not surprising that a childhood ambition to see the water wheel in action sparked off the idea of creating a mechanical donkey. At the top of the terraced gardens, the well beneath the wheel is deep and the buckets drawing the water surprisingly large. Judging by the weight of water Christiaan deduced that either two donkeys (or a very strong mule) must have originally turned it. Adjusting the quantity of water in each bucket so that the ‘donkey’ could effectively lift the load was an important technicality.

It was first necessary to replace the cogs and other rusting operational parts – hundreds of meters of eroded and broken water channels, weaving around the garden, had to be restored.

To build a ‘donkey’ capable of walking endlessly in a perfect circle is no mean feat. I took seven weeks of work on site and the materials include electronic circuit boards, sensors and servomotors. he has polyester ears that twitch and turn, presumably to keep of the flies – and an obedient relationship with his master!

See Christiaan Zwanikken's more recent robotic and kinetic art works here.

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1951 – Mechanical Horse – Bogart (American)

Source: Mechanix Illustrated Oct, 1951.

Source: Popular Mechanics Jan, 1954

Galveston Daily News 11 Mar 1953

Hold Your Autos; Horse A-Comin'
CLEVELAND, Ohio (UP)—No reaction has come from the automotive world as yet, but George Bogart's invention would seem to be a cinch to cause a stir. He invented a horse. The 62-year-old inventor began three years ago when his son taunted him:
"Pop, you've invented lots of things. Bet you can't invent something in the line of a horse." The father finally came up with a small mechanical horse.
Pulls a Cart
It Is about 50 inches high, weighs 80 pounds and is powered by two automobile storage batteries. The inventor is a welder by trade.
The elder Bogart has a special cart, and, if the traction is favorable, his creation can pull it. When traction is not so good, the rear Wheels of the cart can be hooked up to the power unit in the pony.
When he started on the horse, Bogart recalled that he first got a book on equine anatomy. The body is made of lightweight balsa wood, covered with a brown velvet "hide." The patented device is filled with cogs, levers and the like for propelling purposes.
The jaunty beast can walk trot and gallop. It goes best on brick or wook with a surprisingly strong driving power. In the process of his creation, it tore up two rugs and is capable of destroying a lawn with its sturdy, unrelenting hooves. The realistic-looking animal is also capable of hauling a man in the cart.

Mechanical Horse was built by George A. Bogart on a $10 bet with his son. Made of balsa wood and powered by six-volt auto batteries, this mechanized nag will pull up to 300 pounds at 25 mph.

George A. Bogart
Patent number: 2850839
Filing date: Feb 15, 1955
Issue date: Sep 1958

See full patent here.

There is a video clip on Bogart's horse found on itnsource, but  no preview. Here is the blurb on the clip:

Robot Horse Lakewood OhioPlease read the Fox Movietone disclaimer

Lakewood, Ohio — Robot Horse

Horse leaving Pope Surplus store, loading horse & wagon into station wagon, unloading at park, operation of horse & wagon, shot of Mr George Bogart (Inventor) & Mr H J Pope, Mr Bogart driving & Pope children as passengers.

Story number: 088-629

Color: No

Mfg. Title: No

Tapes: MTA06375 1 00:33

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1947 – “Blowtorch” Mechanical Horse – W.J. McIntyre (Canadian)

See video preview here.

A second video can be seen here, but you need to create an account and log-in first. Search for "NEW DERBY HOPE"

"Tractor Classic", May/June 2004, Vol. 19 #3, pages 25-26.

"Blowtorch" currently on display at :

Western Development Museum, Moose Jaw Branch – History of Transportation.     
50 Diefenbaker Drive
Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, Canada S6J 1J9

From Expo-86

….Lingering awhile at the first two displays as you enter the [Saskatchewan] pavilion. You'd see Blowtorch, the mechanical horse….

Small Beneath the Sky: A Prairie Memoir, by Lorna Crozier

Here [Saskatchewan], eccentricities are not only accepted, but expected, and even they are familiar: Mr. W.J. McIntyre Jr., who created the smoking, roaring mechanical horse Blow Torch, highlight of the town parade;

As famous in our town as Trigger, the pinto was named Blow Torch. His mane of real horsehair gleamed. Smoke puffed from his nostrils every five minutes or so. and he let out a roar that came nowhere close to a whinny or a neigh. Everyone laughed and clapped as he clomped by. The clamour he made was like a grain him collapsing in on itself in a high wind.
People referred to Blow Torch's creator, Mr. McIntyre Jr., as an inventor. He'd inherited McIntyre's Foundry from his father, and though some considered him eccentric, his construction of the mechanical horse made him even more of a celebrity than the mayor or the skip who'd almost won the Brier. Mr. McIntyre rarely accompanied Blow Torch in the parade, though. Usually it was a clown, maybe one of the bull wranglers from the rodeo, who held the reins to make sure the steel pinto didn't veer into the crowd.