10 Weirdest (and Totally Cool) Pedal-Powered Gadgets
1Foot-powered Washing Machine
GiraDora is a blue bucket that conceals a spinning mechanism that washes clothes and then partially dries them. It's operated by a foot pedal, while the user sits on the lid to stabilize the rapidly churning contents. Sitting alleviates lower-back pain associated with hand-washing clothes, and frees up the washer to pursue other tasks. It's portable, so it can be placed nearby a water source, or even inside on a rainy day. It reduces health risks like joint problems, skin irritation, and mold inhalation. Most importantly, it uses far less water and cleans clothes faster than conventional hand-washing.
3Pedal-powered Wire Lamborghini
4Pedal-Powered Personal Pod
The Schweeb uses a monorail system to guide users along a pre-determined path, and each pod is powered by the rider. According to their website, it takes only half the energy of a regular bike and 1/3 the energy of a mountain bike to pedal, since it is enclosed and there is no rolling resistance of the tires to compensate for. For even greater efficiency, Schweebs can be linked together for less air resistance, and more pedal power.
This pod can easily attain speeds of up to 31 mph (50 kph). Just to compare, the average speed in London of a car is just 8 mph, the same speed it was a 100 years ago in 1908.
5Pedal-powered Ferris Wheel
The device is not particularly stable. However, the original design was for just 2 seats inside the wheel, and cycling pushed the 2 passengers around inside. Cesewski thought that was too dull, hence adding the movement of the outer wheel too! The total build cost an impressive $7000 and took a total of 6 months to design and create. The great thing, though, is no diesel engines are needed to run the contraption. If he could make it more stable, it might catch on!
6Pedal-powered School Bus
7Foot-powered Kitchen Appliance
Student designer Thetard's objective for this product — which is still just a concept — is to reduce electricity use in the kitchen and therefore help us reduce our personal carbon footprint.
8Pedal-powered Water Purifier
9Foot-powered Roller Coaster
The Dutchman's project began in 2006, when van Kuijk started researching pedal-powered planes, including the Gossamer Condor (the first pedal-powered plane to fly a figure-8) and the Gossamer Albatross (the first pedal-powered flight over the English channel). Over the next few years, the inventor gathered materials and eventually built a plane with 85 foot-wide wings and a bicycle chain attached to a propeller for acceleration. Van Kuijk's maiden flight last Sunday didn't go very far–the plane flew 15 feet in the air for a distance of about 45 feet–but eventually he hopes to make an extended journey. That's not out of the realm of possibility, as van Kuijk is only 19 years old and he built his first plane without constructing a model.
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