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Pedal-powered

Three years ago we heard about the GiraDora, a foot-pedal-powered clothes-washing machine created for off-grid use in developing nations. While many of our readers expressed an interest in it, the device has yet to reach commercial production. If that's the sort of thing that turns your crank (or pushes your pedal), though, you can now order Yirego's similar Drumi.

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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
While not nearly as popular or diverse as motor vehicle camping trailers, pedal-powered campers like the Midget Bushtrekka provide another form of mobile shelter. Not to be confused with the Tricycle House, the Housetrike is a pedal camper with a unique form. It looks like a basic cargo trike at first, but extends into a lockable sleeper for one. Read More
Last September, at the World Human Powered Speed Challenge at Battle Mountain in Nevada, a Dutch team made up of students from TU Delft and VU Amsterdam set the current world speed record of 83.13 mph (133.78 km/h) for an unpaced cyclist on flat ground in the VeloX3. The University of Liverpool Velocipede Team (ULVT) has now announced its intentions to take the title with the Arion1 Velocipede, a bicycle resembling an oversized medicine capsule that has been left out in the sun too long. Read More
While companies such as Dahon and Nokia already offer products that let you charge your phone with power generated while cycling, both systems do somewhat clutter up the handlebars and stem. Sinewave Cycles' new Reactor, however, is mostly integrated into the bike's existing steerer tube, keeping external hardware to a minimum. Read More
If you'd like to live off-grid but still retain access to power when you need it, then New York-based company Pedal Power might have you covered – providing you don't mind putting in the legwork, that is. The firm has launched a Kickstarter campaign for its two stationary bike-like gadgets that are claimed to produce enough electricity to run a laptop when pedaled. Read More
While it can be fun canoeing with another person, there is one problem with the setup of a traditional canoe – the front passenger has to turn around in order to see the back passenger’s face. British engineer Joe Rutland decided to do something about that, so he designed the Tandem canoe. Not only do the two passengers sit facing each other, but instead of paddling the boat, they pedal it. Read More

Porsche has traditionally targeted professional males between the ages of 21 and 60, but the all important demographic between the ages of 5 and 8 has not been completely ignored. Porsche’s Go-Kart is the latest effort to appeal to this budding market. Read More

Over the past several years, we’ve seen a number of bike-mounted products designed to charge the user’s phone using pedal power. Some of these have included the PedalPower+, the EcoXPower, Nokia’s Bicycle Charger Kit, and BioLogic ReeCharge Power Pack. One of the latest such devices, the Siva Cycle Atom, is hitting Kickstarter – and it's quite a bit more compact than most of the competition. Read More
Shortly before that time of the year traditionally reserved for all manner of tomfoolery, the UK's Environmental Transport Association (ETA) released details of a pedal-powered Popemobile concept that many immediately assumed to be a joke. Gizmag caught up with its designer, Yannick Read of Hornster and Bond Bike fame, to find out if the environmentally-friendly pontiff-carrier proposal is genuine or fake. Read More
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