Sean McCarthy to discuss Orbo online tomorrow

According to Steorn’s site, and an e-mail update they’ve been sending out to those of us who’ve subscribed (on their home page), Sean McCarthy will be presenting a talk about the principles that make Orbo work, tomorrow at 5pm GMT (noon eastern time, 9 A.M. pacific in the U.S.) at the Waterways building in Dublin. The talk will be streamed live on Steorn’s channel 1.

The title of the talk is “Introduction to an Orbo Electromagnetic Interaction – Part 1”, and the description is “Sean McCarthy, CEO of Steorn, will discuss and demonstrate cancelling Back EMF in Orbo electromagnetic interactions.”

In other news, several sites and media outlets have published stories relating to Steorn’s demo over the past few days:
Rupert Goodwins at ZDNet
U.K. Press Association

Steorn also ran its recently released ad on the Arab news network Al Jazeera, perhaps hoping to attract wealthy Arab investors who don’t want to be left out in the cold in the post-oil economy:

Orbo ad on Al Jazeera

Speaking of which, in the opinion of some, the most stimulating revelation to come out of Steorn’s demo so far has been the song used in their ad. Turns out it’s called Hallucination, by the Dublin-based band Delorentos.

Steorn’s demo begins — but seeing isn’t believing

Steorn’s public demo of their Orbo technology, claimed to produce unlimited free energy, began this morning at 10am local time at the Waterway Center in Dublin, Ireland. Live streaming video of the event, as well as related videos, can be seen from Steorn’s homepage.

For those interested in seeing Orbo up close and personal, the exhibit will be open daily from December 15th to the 23rd and from January 5th to the 31st, between the hours of 10am to 7pm. Information and directions can be found here.


Two men inspecting a spinning Orbo, live from Dublin.


For over three years, since Steorn first went public with their free energy claims, the company has acted as a sort of Rorschach test; different observers interpret what they’re doing in vastly different, and often opposing, ways. Every action they’ve taken can be interpreted as part of a massive fraud, or as following from a prolonged delusion that they have something fantastic when all they really have is measurement error, or as an earnest step toward launching a genuine technology so revolutionary that the normal means of bringing a new technology to the attention of others capable of developing it further, simply fall short.

Today, however, is the big reveal — a spinning Orbo can finally be viewed up close by any Dubliner who wishes to wander by, or by anyone else on the planet with a web browser. This should be the moment that changes everything, right? Wrong. Amazingly, today’s demo doesn’t clear up the picture one bit.

The reason for the continued ambiguity is a simple battery. The Orbo device being demoed today is not the same as the version that was (almost) shown in the aborted July 2007 demo. The 2007 Orbo was made up of a simple arrangement of permanent magnets, that supposedly resulted in a perpetual motion machine. Orbo 2009 is similar in its basic design, but the outer ring of magnets are now electromagnets rather than permanent magnets, and these electromagnets are fed by a battery. That battery, it is claimed, is constantly recharged by a small electrical generator attached to the spinning Orbo. The net result, says Sean McCarthy, is that the Orbo produces some three times the energy it uses. The energy that isn’t cycled back to the battery is dissipated as heat.

Sean’s claim may be true — the Orbo may be generating three times the energy it is using, right in front of our eyes. Or, it may not be; there’s no way to tell without being an experienced engineer and hooking the rig up to a lot of complex testing equipment. Because there’s a battery in the loop, there’s just no telling how much energy, if any, Orbo is actually generating. So Steorn may have what they claim. Or they may be lying about it as part of a scam. Or they may honestly believe they have it, but be wrong. There’s still no way to tell.


Schematics of the demo Orbo, showing a generator at top to recharge the battery, at bottom.


The skeptics will be emboldened to discover that Steorn also today announced the opening to the public of the Steorn Knowledge Development Base (SKDB), a club of engineers privy to information about how Orbo works. It will be open to students, academics, hobbyists, and anyone else… who is willing to pony up €419.00 ($613.00). Sorry, no refunds. This sounds like the capstone of the scam, the part where they finally get around to cashing in on all their deceptions. But then again, how many people will have the necessary confluence of wealth, enthusiasm and gullibility to plunk down that much money on a technology that hasn’t been verified? 100? 200? Even if 500 of these memberships are sold, Steorn still only makes some $300,000; chump change for even a company of their size. Even if Orbo is nothing but a scam, selling a few memberships and a smattering of testing equipment to those members can’t be a profitable endgame.

So, once again, nothing has changed. But then, Steorn hasn’t claimed that the demo should be what proves Orbo to be real. In the future supposedly imagined by Steorn, the demo attracts attention; engineers join the SKDB and learn how to build their own Orbos. Eventually people all over the world are replicating the technology, testing it, and finding out that it really does produce more energy that it consumes. That’s when Orbo is proven — gradually, over the course of weeks and months, as a distributed effort spread out all over the world.


Three Orbo devices arranged around a plexiglass column.


Today may be the most eventful day for Steorn since they introduced themselves to the world with an ad in The Economist in the summer of 2006. But for the rest of us, it ends just the same as every other day Steorn has made a great reveal — we have no clearer a picture of what Steorn is really all about, and we have a new point in the future to wait for and look forward to. On February 1st 2010 many more people will be able to learn how Orbo works. Then at some point in the weeks, or months, or years after that, someone may replicate it, someone may demonstrate that it produces more energy than it uses. Then someone else, and then someone else. Or, maybe not. We’ll see.

Steorn Demo to begin tomorrow, December 15th

Forum member speccy telephoned the Waterways Visitor Centre Dublin and was told that Steorn is in fact holding a demo there beginning tomorrow, Tuesday December 15th. It will be opening at 10am for invited guests and at 1pm for members of the public.

Steorn has promised to stream video of the demo over the web, and sure enough a Steorn stream has appeared on, with the description “Live Stream from Waterways Dublin of Steorn Demo”. It is currently password protected and broadcasting only a test pattern: search for “steorn”
LiveStream Steorn Channel

Steorn has also gone public with the brief ad video that was leaked to the web several days ago, posting it to their official YouTube channel:

YouTube Steorn Channel

In yet another sign that Steorn is preparing for a new wave of public attention, they have re-opened their online public forum to accept membership applications.

The Steorn public forum

Several members of Steorn’s inner circle of 300 engineers have written blog posts anticipating the impending demo:

Free Energy Truth
Cras Ex Machina
Hugh Deasy

Finally, media coverage begins with a post on Engadget, reiterating their disbelief that Steorn has what it claims:

Engadget: Steorn Invites Us to Get Real With Fairy Powered Orbo…

And, Rupert Goodwins at is hoping to stop by and check out the demo himself:

Rupert Goodwins on Steorn

First glimpse of the demo Orbo “whirring away” member ArcaneTests has posted an update on the status of demo preparations in Dublin. Excerpts from the post:

OK, so I got into the room and took a look. Security is one old dude checking that everyone has a “staff” pass around their neck (no photo id or anything).

In the main room they have a kind of perspex stand (could be glass) about the height of a person with three shelves coming out of it at various heights. On one of those they had one of their machines. It was whirring away, basically spinning a wheel continuously. It has no obvious connections to power, only to a kind of connector block that i assume will connect to a readout or instruments.

Pic here. Sorry it’s crappy but I didn’t want to draw attention to myself. You can see the machine in the lower right, as well as the other shelves that will presumably hold two more machines.

EDIT: to explain the pic, I’m looking down from a mezzanne that has lots of computer equipment, cameras etc. the wires you see are on the mezzanine only. You can see the magic-beans machine in the lower right sitting on the stand, and two more gray-ish shelves sticking out of the stand at 1 o’clock and 9 o’clock.


The demo rig being set up, as viewed from above. Click here for full size.

A closeup of the demo Orbo.

ArcaneTests claims to “know some people peripherally involved in the demo” who told him that Steorn will be “starting a new demo next week” at the Waterways Building in Dublin.

The Waterways Building in Dublin. Google Map

Something’s rumblin’ in Dublin

The last few weeks have seen a gradual increase in signs that Steorn will in fact be attempting to pull off some kind of public launch for Orbo in the coming days.

First, in late November Dann McCreary, a member of Steorn’s in-the-know but NDA-bound group of 300 engineers who have supposedly been given first access to the secrets of the Orbo, wrote the following, excerpted from a recent blog entry:

While I cannot expose any proprietary technical details nor can I reveal any specific dates that I may know of from access to private communications, I do, however, have reason to believe that a significant number of us will become eye-witnesses of the Orbo effect in the foreseeable future. And so, either when Steorn chooses to launch Orbo, or perhaps shortly thereafter, there should be a number of individuals scattered around the globe who are likely to be able to confirm Orbo with direct testimony…

After the ultimate Steorn public disclosure that I believe for these reasons to be imminent, virtually anyone reading these words will be able to sign on for a license to learn and use Orbo in whatever way you may see fit.

Next, in early December Hugh Deasy (another member of the Steorn 300) wrote a blog entry in which he stated:

Something sure is going on in the Dublin HQ: we in the inner forum or OS have, as have the ‘300’ other NDA engineers, been told some details of the release event(s) planned for the next few months…

Yes, this technology is only a few weeks away from exploding on the world stage. Already hundreds of forum members know how to build this device. So the knowledge is widespread. I don’t think it’s outside my NDA to say that this distributed knowledge will play a role in the roll-out of the technology. In 2010 the replications will start to sprout up all over the place, and the slow work of convincing the sceptics will begin.

But beyond mere hearsay, we’re beginning to see concrete actions on Steorn’s part that appear to be in preparation for a major event. First, they closed down their online forum (leaving most members to take refuge in this third party forum). Several days after that, the Steorn servers went down overnight, and when they came back up they were reportedly replaced by newer, faster servers — as if in preparation for receiving much greater amounts of traffic.

Next, on December 10th Steorn opened their own YouTube channel. Currently the channel contains only the video released in February of 2009, showing several engineers waxing optimistic about the Orbo. However, for a brief period of time during the morning of December 11th, a second video was available through the YouTube channel. This video is described as being a sort of advertisement for Orbo, in which Steorn confronts its skeptics. The video was quickly taken down however, and may have only gone up briefly as a test.

Finally, on December 10th a video was posted on YouTube from a source independent of Steorn, showing the projection of a Steorn-related presentation or advertisement onto the side of a building. Having taken place without fanfare, this may also have been a test in preparation of impending events. This video was also removed from YouTube today; Steorn seems intent on keeping the cat in the bag until the appointed moment.

From this sudden ramping up of preparations, something or other appears to be imminent — this could be anything from just another slick video and a brand new deadline months further in the future, to the actual launch of a laws-of-physics-defying technology for generating free energy. My guess is that we’ll find out early to mid- next week (the weekend and the holidays both being bad times to release news if you want it to get covered). I’ll keep you posted as events develop.

Update 12/11/09:

The Steorn ‘ad’ that was posted briefly on Steorn’s YouTube channel is available online, and can be downloaded using the link below. It doesn’t show Orbo at all; it only repeats some of the harshest criticisms from skeptics, as if in preparation for proving them wrong. Now if they can only get to the ‘proving them wrong’ part.

Update 12/11/09:

A post at fills in some details about Steorn’s planned demo:

So they’re starting a new demo next week; they’ve rented out the old Waterways Building in Dublin and are currently projecting ads onto an old factory next door. Can’t find anything about it on their site but apparently they will be streaming a “live” demo of their magic-beans-powered device. They are currently setting up a lot of lights, equipment etc in and around the building.