So the daughter wanted some foldable steampunk wings like these for Halloween:
http://www.instructables.com/id/Steampu ... ted-wings/
Both have a lot of work involved so in the interest of time we needed an easier build. After some searching around the house we found an old back massager (homedics?) and an old accordion slat style baby gate. The massager has two spinning massage heads that move up and down the back and its powered off a small AC adapter:12Vdc @ 2amps. Once stripped down the back massager revealed a nice carriage with lots of power even though it’s very slow. It travels about 14.5 inches each direction.
After some testing with popsicle sticks we figured out a nice geometry to use the baby gate slats with. Daughter trimmed the back facing part of the case and once assembled it provided a solid base to mount the wing arm on.
A wooden block was cut to clear the motor and raise the slats into the plane of the top mounts Add some nice fabrics for the backpack, some muslin for the wings, and antique brass paint for visible surfaces. To give the wings some rigidity we added 2 ¼ to each wing top joint... the bat look.
The massager has four position micro switches so the circuit can tell where the carriage is. We didn’t need the circuit and the rating on the micro switches was 3 amps which was enough to handle the 2 amp motor draw. We clipped out the controller and used the wiring to the top and bottom micro switch.
A DPDT switch was wired to the motor to provide reversing voltage and each leg from the switch would be interrupted by the limit switch using the normally closed path of the switch to provide power.
A brass pull chain switch from a ceiling fan toggles the power on and off. And a small 12v gel cell battery provides plenty of power. And a pair of videos here:
More photos in the post after this one.
There’s more work to do this winter to convert the massage wheels into flywheels and reverse drive two small pistons, add a deploying steam powered ducted fan set (for show of course), more pipe and a steam cylinder and anything else she can think of. Enjoy. Of yes wingspan is almost eight feet.