The Mendocino Motor floats in its own magnetic field and converts light into electricity and magnetism, which are then converted into the motion of the motor.
Building and studying this project provides the satisfaction of creating an amazing bit of technology, and the opportunity to explore magnetism, electromagnetism, electric motors, solar power generation, and personal manufacturing.
Build the base that holds the magnets and provides a bearing point for the motor. Then wind the motor coils, and solder them to the solar cells. When the motor is assembled, you’ll balance it so it spins freely, and perform any troubleshooting to make it work properly.
This project was featured in issue 31 of MAKE magazine.
Instructions are on Make: Projects.
There are photos of this project.