The Irish company Steorn claims to have developed a revolutionary technology for generating free energy: Orbo. Check out the latest updates, or get the story from the beginning here.

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First glimpse of an Orbo

Amidst all the talk about Steorn's spectacularly failed demonstration, it's easy to overlook the most interesting new bit of information that did come out of all this -- Steorn finally revealed what a working Orbo looks like. It appears that their press package for what they seem to have anticipated would be a successful media event included photos of Sean holding an Orbo device, and the central "rotor" disc does look to be spinning. The photo showed up in several articles during the past week, including coverage by the BBC, here. Below is a closeup of the Orbo:

Whether the Orbo is capable of working as claimed is as yet unknown, but that hasn't stopped people from analyzing how it's put together and how it would work if it could. Steorn forum member Axle posted several images showing an exploded view of the Orbo based on the published photos:

The "stator" is shown in green and blue, and contains a circular arrangement of eight magnets fitted into slots around the periphery of a central cavity. In that cavity spins the "rotor", with four magnets around its circumference. The stator and rotor are connected by two bearings, seen in orange -- the weak links that, according to Sean, put an end to the demo.

Some of this detail is conjecture, given the quality of the photos that the design is drawn from. The design resembles a variation of a classic magnet motor, a recurring motif among attempts to create perpetual motion machines. A magnet motor cannot generate more energy than is put into it because, due to the way magnetic fields work, there will either be a stable state where the rotor is being pushed in one direction just as strongly as it is being pushed in the other direction, or else the operation of the motor will progressively weaken the magnets themselves until the spinning stops. If Orbo does work, then it's doing something very unusual with the configuration of magnets, perhaps (according to Sean) somehow taking advantage of the time variance involved in the effect of magnetic viscosity. (Some members of the Overunity forum are trying to figure out how this might work).

Until (and unless) Steorn reveals just how their Orbo is put together, all we can do is make speculations based on what little we have seen. But if Sean is holding a spinning Orbo device in these published photos, I think we can narrow down the possibilities of what it actually is to these four:

1) A fake -- hidden in there somewhere is a battery, strong enough to keep the device running for a few days (or maybe, as it turned out, just a few hours).

2) A type of "magnet motor" that will spin for a while, during which time the magnets themselves are weakened, eventually stopping the motion. This is in direct contradiction with Steorn's statement that tests showed no weakening of the magnets... but we've seen that Steorn's engineers (like any, to be fair) are not infallible.

3) A very low friction magnet motor that will keep spinning if held and jostled a bit, but that without this small input of energy will eventually slow to a halt. It's possible that such a device could have fooled Steorn into believing they had a perpetual motion machine. This is difficult to reconcile with Sean's claim that a test Orbo has been run continuously for several weeks, however -- unless it was being carefully cradled by a hopeful and deluded energy source for part of that time.

4) It just might, of course, be the real thing.

Continue to Choose your delusion »

Comments (27)

Richard George:

The video talks about 'spin-down times of three minutes from 100 RPM' - I think what they're claiming is they set the thing spinning with X joules of rotational kinetic energy, and they think it takes Y joules to stop it again, and they measure Y > X?

Most likely it's measurement error on their part, eg. compare with the Pons-Fleischman cold fusion debacle - the claim for cold fusion came about because Pons & Fleischman thought they measured more thermal energy, released as heat in the mixture than was provided as electrical energy during part of their experiment.

They were looking for small differences between large quantities: 1000 Joules appears to become 1001 Joules, and the extra 1 is 'due to cold fusion' etc, when actually there was a systematic error in the calibrations of their equipment.

Bob:

It reminds me of a magnet motor I saw back in the early eighties. The inventors name was Paul Monus.

BenRo:

I can't believe that after such a long time and so many claims that this PIDDLY BIT OF SCRAP ENGINEERING is all they have to show. I have every confidence that Steorn and its directors have gleefully received investment money from anybody stupid enough to provide it. And this is all they have to show us???? The failed demonstration is not accidental. It's just a ploy to keep the investors happy/deluded. I can't believe that they only have one device to demonstrate and that the searing heat(!) of a strip of 12V track-lights could have caused the bearings to fail and the plexiglass to "warp permanently". Pure BS. If this is a magnet motor, and it has all the characteristics of one, it has no magical properties. Put any kind of load on it and it will stall. Period. It doesn't even have enough "over unity" energy to run a digital watch. These clowns will dissapear soon, with all the money, never to be seen again.

SpotWeld:

Hmm, a little compressed air and those angled magnets will make that disk act like a turbine.

Mike Griffiths:

How can you write "Whether the Orbo is capable of working as claimed is as yet unknown" when we do know very well - it does not work. If they had a working model they would have demonstrated it - but they have not and did not.

What more do you need?

Andre:

If it was true, they SHOULD have ate least one running forever on their showroom ...

Gerhard::

reminds me of "The Emperor's new clothes" :)

gattorosso:

Or could be easily phased on electric delivery cable frequency (50 Hz, or 60 Hz).

Dualityshift:

Guys, you are missing the key factor: The small wheel has four magnets, while the outer ring has eight magnets. Clearly you can all see how spinning four magnets with eight will give you unlimited free energy. What are we here, sub 75 IQ crowd?
{/sarcasm}

I think that spells out Steorn's idea of how this works.

yong:

not a novel idea
.i designed a similar device two years ago!!

TheFear:

No matter how great the engineering is the device will always eventually find zero point and stop. So many people in history have tried creating permanent magnet motors and all of them have turned out the same. When permanent magnets are in the same flux field for any length of time the flux fields weaken. the other issue is this really isn't free energy machine even if it did work because the permanent magnets had to get there flux fields from somewhere if the magnets where charged with current from another source or even if kinetically they where charged by rubbing two piece of metal together there was still a transfer of energy. The other thing to think about is that a permanent magnet will not always be a magnet it will eventually loose its flux over time. Now maybe that time might be 100 years and that’s all good but eventually it will die and if you put a magnet into another magnets flux field its life is shortened dramatically. Well anyways we all dream of free energy and I also hope we find it some day but I doubt it's going to be orbo.

dave:

This whole thing is a huge scam and I, being in engineering, hope that the jackassses who built that thing are ashamed of themselves for being hacks and frauds. SHAME ON THEM

Nik:

I have two thoughts. Firstly, this is a hoax, a scam or a social experiment.

Secondly, we have a source of free, (almost) unlimited power, it's called the Sun.

Dennis:

It is so funny to read this. I "invented" exactly the same thing when I was in junior high school 40 years ago. I also built it with plexiglass and ceramic permanent magnets. For the bearing assembly I used the center part of an old bicycle wheel. I was convinced it would work. And I was totally stumped when it didn't. I'd spin it up and it would spin for a while (slow then fast then slow, etc.) Later I realized that I could prove that the sum of attractions and repulsions in any one cycle always equaled 0. But, hey, I was dumb kid and the time. So what did I know?

I'm not that surprised that someone would use this "invention" to scam poor dumb investors. Actually, based on years of experience in high tech business since then (I am now a CEO of a software company) my guess is that the inventor originally believed it would really work. But before he was convinced that it would not work, some scammer business guy came along and told him he could raise millions of dollars for him. And the inventor got corrupted by the money and now is afraid to admit it doesn't work. My guess is that the inventor will get stuck with a fraud lawsuit and the business promoter will disappear, as usual.

oh my goodness! I had never heard of these clowns before! Are they serious?! Perpetual motion has captured the hearts and minds of scientist since the dawn of time, yet everyone knows it doesn't exist. Is this guy for real in 2007?! Nothing comes free!

jeff gooloolie:

If this was a scam for money... They would not have made it out of plexiglass, and put it on display for the public.

They also wouldnt release diagrams of the unit to the public.

think about it.
Its almost as if they did think they invented free energy, and they released all the info to the public so that "the power" wouldnt be abused by the govenrments, or the rich.

Murray:

Hello,
I appreciate all of your comments. The only comments that you all have is that, basically, we are not being lied to by the energy intelligence of this screwed up planet. I know of several lies that have come to light in recent years. And current, functioning lies, that are alive and breathing almost without help.
One amazing fact is that the internal combustion engine can be crammed with an entire gallon of gas, and only go 20-40 miles.
I don't know, maybe I should put on my outfit of pessimism and join you. At least I'll have a not too bad group of acquaintances. Au revoir, mon freres.

Reuben:

If they are scamming for money why do they state the following: "Due to the contentious nature of our technology claim the company made a decision that during the process of validation we would seek no further funding." and have their financial figures available to the public if its not a public trading company. http://steorn.com/about/investor/

Rob S:

This invention is complete and utter rubbish! Free energy, pah! My process to turn Lead into Gold however is a sure fire winner. For more info go to: scamthesuckerz.com

Alexander:

It reminds me mystical history of Mr. Searl and his generator.

Mali:

It was just bad luck that their display failed to prove that they had re-invented physics. I'm looking forward to them doing the same for chemistry with transmutation as their next offering.

Big Oil Tex:


This is impossible. Only an idiot would try to build this type of new technology. Kids never try to build such a machine when you grow up.


Achmed Hooson:


Machine no good!!


Badee:

Could I just make a small notice. Growing up and studying we are all tought that wonderful law of conservation of engergy and that the total energy of a system is always the same.

It is not my place to say but could it just be that do to the enviormental limitations that is what we proved and understand.

Once in history the undisputable fact was. The earth is flat and that it was the center of the universe. It took many long years and many new inventions to understand that that is not true.

We shouldn't disbelieve this finding just test it to our best limits and see if it still holds true if it does then we may just have to accept that "the world is round" and "man can Fly".

Daniel Khoo:

"The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man." George Bernard Shaw

Much of progress is driven by people who "don't know better". People who are ignorant of current scientific knowledge at any particular point in time, and plunge headlong through a previously impenetrable wall.

Like everybody else here, I don't believe that they have a free energy machine, and are unlikely to eventually make one. But if they pour millions of $$$ into research, maybe they'd come up with something useful. So I say good luck to them.

But they're not getting their hands on any of my hard earned cash. There's this rather good chance that it's all a big con.

Secatur:

Sure, and it's a bloody good way to scam up a Million dollar tax loss ! Anybody looked at what other associated persons or corporations might require such a loss????

a bit off topic has anyone get to watch the 60 minute show last night with Bloom Box..?

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on July 10, 2007 5:58 PM.

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