MountainBeest Motor Upgrade


Old motor on left – new motor on right

If you’ve been reading this blog recently, you’ve noticed that I’ve been building something I like to call a “MountainBeest,” based partly on Theo Jansen’s “Strandbeest.”  You might have also thought that the motors used to power the legs were a tiny bit underpowered.

I’m happy to say that per the video below, this is no longer a problem.  At least not as big of a problem.  Instead of the smaller 3 and 2 RPM gearmotors from Servocity, I’m now using their beefier 6 RPM precision gearmotor.

This larger motor has a torque capacity of 1,111  oz-inches, which combined with the faster speed when compared to the smaller and slower motors, is quite impressive.  Interestingly, the rated torque is just in between the 3 and 2 RPM motors, but it’s easy to see that they handle the load of lifting the legs much better than the other motors.

One clue to the huge difference in these motors would be the stall current.  The larger gearmotor now used has a stall current of 1 amp, where the 2 and 3 RPM motors have a stall current of .5 amps.  Although the rated torque is higher on the 2 RPM motor, it definitely couldn’t handle the load as well as the 6 RPM motor.  So that’s one more thing to pay attention to for the next build, whatever that is!


New motors installed. Housing diameter was the same, but length was almost a problem.

If you’d like to see this ‘Beest live, I’ll be showing it off at the Maker Faire in Columbia, SC on June 14th of this year.  It was picked up by Jay and Laura, who are setting it up at the EdVenture museum prior to the event.  Hopefully it will be on display there for a few days before the show, so that will be really cool to have a museum feature my project.

I guess this means I won’t have to do a reverse caper where I actually sneak my “art” into a museum to be displayed.  If you’d like to see more on this project, why not check out its inspration, or even the failed experiment using windshield wiper motors.  I suppose there is a such thing as too much power…


  1. Columbia, South Carolina Maker Faire Roundup | MAKE - pingback on June 19, 2014 at 3:11 pm

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