The heat is on Orbo

5 Jul 2007

Last night at 11pm, a device by Irish technology company Steorn that claims to create energy out of thin air, failed to make its first public appearance, as promised, live on the internet.

As members of the public milled around outside the Kinetica museum, and many others logged on to the webcam last night, it was revealed that the hypothetical perpetual motion machine fell victim to the laws of physics and failed to continuously power the rotating outer wheel.

The intense spotlights surrounding the perspex case in which Orbo is enclosed have been cited as a possible reason for its malfunction, although engineers are still investigating.

“The display case itself is under a lot of lighting, it’s very hot. We think we’ve destroyed one of the bearings on the system, it’s not the technology itself,” said CEO of Steorn, Sean McCarthy, speaking to SiliconRepublic.

Steorn say that the intense heat should not affect future applications of the Orbo technology as this is just a prototype. The prototype was set up in the museum on Sunday and as of Tuesday night, McCarthy said it was functioning perfectly until yesterday when it froze suddenly.

The Orbo free energy device is no longer on display in the Kinetica Museum in London. Engineers are testing it off site, said McCarthy , who is currently looking at the machine with his engineering team, trying to assess specifically what happened, and if it is permanently damaged.

The four webcams focused on Orbo will still go live later this afternoon, to ensure complete transparency to the public, said McCarthy, but Orbo will not be present.

“We did break the barings when we were installing it, but it looks to us almost certainly that it is probably the intense heat from spotlights that were only installed yesterday afternoon,” said McCarthy.

To remedy this, McCarthy said: “We could put fans all around but then we’re pushing air across the wheel,” which would attract the same amount of suspicion as hidden batteries.

McCarthy is hopeful that the Orbo will be functioning for public viewing soon.

“I’m standing beside a couple of engineers who are staring into it right now,” he said.

By Marie Boran