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Human-Powered

Of all the electric cargo cycles we've seen, including the Urban Arrow and 2X4, the Velove Armadillo promises the most pedal-assist cargo hauling capability. The four-wheeled platform supports a big, ol' cargo box or semi-trailer on the rear, making the typical two-wheel grocery getter look downright undersized. The pedaled quad is so cargo hungry, Velove believes it can replace the cargo van when transporting smaller loads over short distances. Read More

If you happen to be at the SXSW festival in Austin, Texas, you may see a rather unusual vehicle on the road. It's an all-aluminum fully-enclosed electric-assist MaxxVelo velomobile, built by Austin's Michael White. Although it was originally meant to be the first in a line of commercially-produced velomobiles, it ended up being the only one of its kind ... and now, you can buy it. Read More

With their sleek shells providing both protection from the elements and an aerodynamic advantage over bicycles, human-powered velomobiles do offer an intriguing alternative to cars. Unfortunately, though, they can't go as fast as automobiles, meaning that they often still have to be ridden along the side of the road. Minneapolis-based inventor Rich Kronfield wants to change that, with his Raht Racer. It's an electric-assist velomobile that amplifies the rider's pedaling power, reportedly allowing them to move as fast as the cars around them. Read More
The team behind The Future People, who brought us the FireFly back in 2013, has recently completed two more human-powered velomobiles which where on display during the 2015 Detroit NAIAS Auto Show. Dubbed Zeppelin and Cyclone, both prototypes push the boundaries of the common human-powered vehicle (HPV) with designs that look to the past and the future. Read More
Back in the early 90s, MIT's Prof. Mark Drela created a motor-less hydrofoil known as the Decavitator. Using nothing but his own leg power to turn the craft's 10-foot (3-m) air propeller, he got it up to a speed of 18.5 knots (21 mph/34 km/h), breaking the human-powered water speed record in the process. Inspired by the Decavitator, aerospace inventor Russell Randall created his own pedal-propelled airboat called the Seahorse – and you can now buy one of your own. Read More
Following its Sikorsky Prize-winning Atlas helicopter, Canada's AeroVelo now aims to set a new human-powered speed record during September's World Human-Powered Speed Challenge in Battle Mountain, Nevada, with a high speed bicycle named Eta. The current record stands at 83.1 mph (133.8 km/h), and was set at the event last year by a Dutch team of students with the VeloX3 bike. Read More
There are already a number of gadgets available that are powered through good old-fashioned mechanical energy, but those usually involve cranks that can be uncomfortable to use and bulky to carry around. Mipwr Dynamo represents a different approach: it's an iPhone case with a hidden lever that can be pressed down repeatedly to charge the battery, but is still slim enough to fit in your pocket. Read More
It's with considerable interest that Gizmag has followed cyclist Graeme Obree's latest quest to break the human-powered speed record on his self-designed and self-built bicycle, Beastie. On Friday at the World Human Speed Championships at Battle Mountain, Nevada, Obree finally made the attempt. Though he fell short of that ultimate record, he did break the world prone record (for cycling head first, face down) with an impressive speed of 56.62 mph (91 km/h). Yet the overall speed record was broken during the event, by a team from the Delft University of Technology and VU University Amsterdam. Read More
Ethan Schlussler, 22, from Sandpoint, Idaho has built his very own human powered elevator as a means to gain access to his recently constructed treehouse. Schlussler came up with the idea of converting an old bicycle and pulley system into an elevator when he was searching for a faster alternative to using a ladder to get up to his 28 foot (8.5 meter) high abode. Read More
Graeme Obree has redesigned his Beastie prone bicycle ahead of an attempt to break the human-powered land speed record and, potentially, the 100 mph (161 km/h) barrier at the same time. The radical changes made to the now complete bicycle have improved both visibility and aerodynamics. It was tested at Prestwick airport at the end of June. Read More
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