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Roll up, roll up to see the Irish perpetual motion machine!

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December 17, 2009

Steorn's Orbo device, exploded, and our reaction to it.

Steorn's Orbo device, exploded, and our reaction to it.

Remember that zany Irish company Steorn, who claimed to have built a working perpetual motion machine that could produce clean, free energy out of a few magnets and some plastic discs? Well, they're back again. Undeterred by the fact that their own hand-picked jury of scientific judges unanimously agreed that the technology didn't work, Steorn has put its Orbo perpetual motion machine out for public display, and set up web feeds through which you can watch the thing in motion. But the demonstration has failed to impress critics, and for good reasons.

Perpetual motion, over-unity, whatever you want to call it, Steorn's Orbo is the latest in a long line of wondrous devices that claim to produce energy out of nothing, in direct violation of one of the best-understood and best-proven laws of physics, the second law of thermodynamics.

So many inventors have claimed they've built such devices over the years that the Royal Academy of Sciences in Paris got sick of wasting time evaluating them and has refused even to read proposals dealing with perpetual motion machines for more than 230 years.

And yet, in the enlightened noughties, Irishman Sean McCarthy has still managed to convince enough marks to manage to keep a company running for more than six years based on the promise of limitless free energy.

The Orbo device claims to use time variance in magnetic fields to keep a disc circling in a little stand, and Steorn says that once it's going, it can continue indefinitely without drawing energy from its surroundings or degrading its components - in fact, if you add up the work done by the Orbo "motor" and the heat put out by its magnetic coils, it's said to generate as much as three times the energy of the initial input.

To demonstrate this (after one previous public demo failed), Steorn has put the Orbo on display in Dublin's Waterways center. Rather than using the all-magnetic version of the device, the company has chosen to use one that's connected to a D-cell battery. The sort of D-cell battery that could probably power a similar low-friction electromagnetic device for days at a time with no magic free energy required.

The machine is operating under no visible load - it's just charging its own battery, if you believe McCarthy - and there's no devices attached to prove that it's making any sort of output at all. The Orbo has even stopped spinning on a few occasions, according to folks who have been watching the technology demonstration through one of three live webcasts at the Steorn website.

An electromagnetic motor that spins for hours at a time - riveting, and not the most convincing thing in the world. If it's a hoax, as most people suggest, you have to wonder why people bother with this sort of thing - is it the attention? Is there some sort of significant financial gain to be made from stringing gullible private investors along with a series of developments and tests that all fail for reasons entirely separate from the fact that the device contravenes the laws of physics?

Then again, we'd all love to believe that there's a magic solution for the looming energy crisis that will save the world using the power of unicorn farts and rainbows, so who are we to tell Steorn's investors that there's no Santa, this close to Christmas?

The demonstration is open to the public between 10am and 7pm from December 15-23 this year, and January 5-31 2010 at the Waterways center in Dublin. Pop in and see the future, folks.

About the Author
Loz Blain Loz loves motorcycles - at the age of two, he told his mother "don't want brother, want mogabike." It was the biker connection that first brought Loz to Gizmag, but since then he's covered everything from alternative energy and weapons to medicine, marital aids - and of course, motorcycles. Loz also produces a number of video pieces for Gizmag, including his beloved bike reviews. He frequently disappears for weeks at a time to go touring with his vocal band Suade.   All articles by Loz Blain
11 Comments

Yesterday, Steorn started advertising Orbo on Al Jazeera. The hope is that some rich oil sheik will think Orbo is real and will pay big enough money for Steorn's worthless IP.

fake_science
17th December, 2009 @ 03:47 am PST

If what this guy says is true then it should run without the battery. Start the thing and pull the battery out of the loop. No? Because it wont work. LOL

George Davis V
17th December, 2009 @ 04:20 am PST

obviously this is not BULLSHIT

robinyatesuk2003
17th December, 2009 @ 04:37 am PST

the scientists at ITER are already working on nuclear fusion technology which promises us al lot of power without radioactive wastes(although the inner components of the fusion reactor will become 'activated'). Altough people are not quite used to "Nuclear Reactors", it is theoratically much more safer than the traditional nuclear fission reactors which are prone to meltdowns. And if only deuterium-deuterium(hydrogen2 molecule) fusion is achieved, we will have almost unlimitied amount of reactor fuel from the ocean.

So my bet is on nuclear fusion which has the potential to power the all our energy needs and more.

bio-power jeff
17th December, 2009 @ 04:58 am PST

per·pet·u·al (pr-pch-l)

adj.

1. Lasting for eternity.

2. Continuing or lasting for an indefinitely long time.

3. Instituted to be in effect or have tenure for an unlimited duration: a treaty of perpetual friendship.

4. Continuing without interruption.

And how long does your battery live? Pure Blarney!!

YukonJack
17th December, 2009 @ 08:22 am PST

I don't know who is more deluded.

The Orbo Company that says this energy MAGIC is true or the people who pretend to "test" the unit.

The simplest way is to have unbiased people build one from the Orbo companies direction.

Without the Orbo company people ever touching the new device and then see if it works.

If it works everyone wins and we must insure they get a big pay day. If it fails they can try again but most of us can focus on better options.

froginapot
17th December, 2009 @ 09:16 am PST

This reminds me of the Family Guy episode where it explains what happened to the Irish scientists:



Ed

web/gadget guru

Ed
17th December, 2009 @ 10:47 am PST

First law of thermodynamics: There's no such thing as free energy.

Gruph Norgle
19th December, 2009 @ 05:57 am PST

100% peripheral factoids and rhetorical non-sequiturs from Gizmag.

No mention of three qualified engineers affirming its over-unity functionality, by name and on video, of course:

http://www.steorn.com/iframe-vid3.html

Unicorn
20th December, 2009 @ 01:16 am PST

Loving the pig's arse image there Gizmag

Steorn do seem to have overlooked some important factors, especially when making their "no degradation of parts" claim, in that they are using a chemical rechargeable battery that will naturally deplete to zero performance over a sufficient number of charging cycles.

Also, even if it is a small point, there will be unavoidable degradation of the bearings and mounts over time. If the claims really were valid any logical inventor would be demonstrating the solid-state version as such an example would be much more difficult to refute than a rotating motor hooked up to a battery.

Unfortunately, this does appear to be yet another dead end, but we live in hope...

hammerXXX
21st December, 2009 @ 03:57 am PST

Have any of your readers researched overunity? Anyone hear of nuclear physicist Tom Bearden? Did you know he has patented, PATENTED, a device called the MEG that pumps out more energy that it puts in and has been awarded patent 6,362,718 B1? Have you heard of John Bedini, who has been working together with Bearden for almost 30 years and is marketing a battery charger, that can greatly elongate the life of any battery? What would this do to any electric vehicle?

Go to cheniere.org or johnbedini.net and read for yourself. Find out the work these two have done, purchase a kit to build an overunity machine. Get a radiant energy battery charger from Bedini Electronics and test it for yourself. All the so-called experts want to say is it can't work because it violates the laws of physics as they understand them. Get a copy of the documentary "Energy From The Vacuum" by Energetic Productions, LLC, 2007. Bearden and Bedini explain how it works and why it does not violate any laws, it simply uses laws that are poorly understood. Purchase the DVD from their website at www.energyfromthevacuum.com.

Any idea that challenges the status quo is always attacked with a vengeance. Galileo found this out when he said the earth revolves around the sun.

It is suggested that overunity claims be investigated by a bypartisan group? Who would this be? Why not have the naysayers choose 3 people and Bearden and Bedini choose 3? The test to be videoed as a documentary by a major film company, and funded by the National Science Forum.

With all this talk about returning to nuclear energy, at a cost of hundreds of billions of dollars, and no guarantee of protection for terrorist attacks, why not look for a possible alternative that has no side effects, nuclear waste, and already exists, even has a patent?

What have we got to lose?

DaEl Walker

daelwalker
18th February, 2010 @ 02:33 pm PST
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