While many retirees take up interesting hobbies when they leave the workforce, Su Daocheng, 60, might be able to claim the title of most unusual post-work activity – designing a rideable robotic horse. Su built the robot that stands just under five feet and weighs about 550 pounds over a two-month period, according to CNET.
Su, who lives in the Shiyan, in the eastern Hubei province of Central China, is something of an avid inventor. He has created a mechanical robot and a helicopter designed for the road in the past. This time, his petrol-powered horse was inspired by the mechanical inventions of Prime Minister Zhuge Liang of the Shu Kingdom in the Three Kingdoms period about 1,800 years ago. Among Liang’s inventions was a “Muniuliuma,” which was a freight transport vehicle that moved military provisions over rugged terrain, reports China Daily.
Su’s horse contains a re-used go-kart engine, and is powered along by spring-loaded legs. The front of the robot is supported by wheels with the legs only for show, while the rear legs actually propel the horse forward.
How useful is this contraption? For Su, designing the robotic animal was a practical hobby. The steel steed is meant to assist farmers. Adding to the mechanical animal’s appeal is the fact that, unlike a real horse, it does not require human care or food. All it needs is oil to run.