Open Source Power Cube – Prototype II

We have completed Prototype II of the Power Cube – a universal, self-contained hydraulic power source. This power unit contains hydraulic quick-connects so that any other mechanical power device may be connected. A single Power Cube I (18 hp) has been used to power LifeTrac II as shown in the last post. Power Cube II will be added to LifeTrac II – so it will be powered by 2 Power Cubes, totalling 35 hp.

See a brief walk-through:

The Blender file may be downloaded here for anyone interested in replication and collaboration – the 3D design represents the build exactly. The complete build video is this 50 minute piece:

How to build an OSE Power Cube (full length) from Will OSE on Vimeo.

Here is an overview of OSE Specifications for Power Cube II.

We will demonstrate stackability of the Power Cubes shortly. The next larger step in the evolution of the Power Cube is to incorporate our implementation of the modern steam engine, as opposed to a gasoline engine. The advantage is that we could then use home-grown pelletized biomass as a fuel source. We’ve already alluded to lawn mowers being powered by their own grass clippings. That is one of the realities that we believe are forthcoming in the near future – after MicroTrac and our steam engine are deployed.


  1. LucasG

    Your comment about a lawnmower eating its own grass reminds me of a permacultural joke about how, for many permacultural designs, a good solar powered lawnmower is … a sheep.

    Sheep take several inputs and give out several outputs. Thing is, same could be with machinery!

    Unix-type machines, modular and open and pipeable-into-each-other, is really like adding metal sheep, 40-ish of them, to the global design toolbox.

    It’s humans who then do the integrated design on the land that sustains them and other forms of life.

    Sounds reasonable and cool.

  2. Miquel

    That is a nice analogy Lucas!

  3. Open Source Ecology - Overview

    […] The Power Cube is an universal, self-contained power unit that consists of an engine coupled to a hydraulic pump for providing power to different devices in the form of hydraulic fluid at high pressure. The Power Cube is a module that can be attached to the LifeTrac, Microtrac, Bulldozer, and Open Source Car (OSCar) platforms. It connects to other devices via quick couplers and quick-connect hydraulic hoses. […]