Florida Man invents novel electric motor that uses zero rare-earth materials

17 years old, and Robert Sansone pops onto the scene with a 3D designed and printed novel electric motor he invented a few years ago after hearing about the high fiscal and environmental cost rare-earth elements demanded. Smithsonian magazine describes Robert Sansone’s genesis story as:

Over the course of a year, Sansone created a prototype of a novel synchronous reluctance motor that had greater rotational force—or torque—and efficiency than existing ones. The prototype was made from 3-D printed plastic, copper wires and a steel rotor and tested using a variety of meters to measure power and a laser tachometer to determine the motor’s rotational speed. His work earned him first prize, and $75,000 in winnings, at this year’s Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF), the largest international high school STEM competition.

Margaret Osborne | The Smithsonian Magazine

Al Williams at Hackaday explains the novel part of Robert Sansone’s design:

Rare earths are powerful but expensive, costing much more than common metals like copper or steel. Traditionally, synchronous reluctance motors use steel rotors and air gaps and exploit the difference in reluctance — a term for magnetic resistance– to generate rotation. [Robert’s] idea was to replace the air gap with a different material to increase the ratio of reluctance between the rotor and the gap. Reconfiguring the motor to a more traditional configuration shows startling results: the new design generated almost 40% more torque and did so more efficiently, as well.

Al Williams | Hackaday

We joke about Florida Man being the world’s worst super hero and yadda-yadda-yadda, but remember that just as crazy cray-cray as Florida Man can get, Florida Man can also beast out on good as well as bad, so don’t be surprised if we see a post about Florida Man curing cancer or some Scheiße like that. Let’s not forget that Florida is the state that brought the world “Gatorade”, because it was invented October 2, 1965 by doctors H. James Free, Dana Shires and Alex de Quesada at University of Florida.

Early in the summer of 1965, University of Florida assistant football coach Dewayne Douglas met a group of scientists on campus to determine why many of Florida’s players were so negatively affected by heat. To replace bodily fluids lost during physical exertion, Dr. James Robert Cade and his team of researchers—doctors H. James Free, Dana Shires and Alex de Quesada—created the now-ubiquitous sports drink. “They developed a drink that contained salts and sugars that could be absorbed more quickly,” according to a University of Florida history of medicine, “and the basis for Gatorade was formed.”

History channel | A&E Television Networks

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