CRAZY WEDNESDAY: WHAT DRIVES GEORGE W BUSH?

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It’s a question some may have been asking for a while, but we can now reveal the truth, courtesy of Bob Schneeveis, “Right in the middle of George’s chest is an electric motor about that big, weighs about 25 pounds. It’s got enough horsepower to run about five Georges and that goes through a bunch of mechanisms and that just churns the legs.” So now you know.

Actually, Schneevis is talking about his fantastic solar-powered George W Bush, who pulls a chariot. Yes – you actually need to see it to believe it. Schneeveis is an absolute hero. Winner of the 1996 Marshall D. O’Neill Award, given annually “For Exceptional and Enduring Support of Stanford University’s Research Enterprise”, the University’s glowing testimonial to his achievements is something most employees only dream of.

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The thinking behind his machines is refreshingly far out of the box, and comes from the kind of unprejudiced observation that informs the most brilliant scientific discoveries. Through a logical train that anyone can understand, he reasons against the wheel as the most efficient locomotion device, and in favour of limbs. He’s fascinating to listen to, as you can tell from this video.

Whilst uninventing the wheel – or at least questioning our dependence on it – may be a profoundly counter-intuitive idea, it is worth remembering some other innovations before dismissing the idea out of hand. Those that spring to mind most immediately are the incredible Honda Asimo, and the simply beautiful wind-driven walking machines of Theo Jansen.

Amanda

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