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Pedal-powered

The unknitting machine in use

Just last week, we told you about the Rocking-Knit chair, a student-designed device that utilizes the user’s rocking motion to knit a hat. After lots of use, needless to say, such a hat would eventually get worn out. Instead of just throwing it away, however, you could recycle it – using another student-designed contraption, the unknitting machine.  Read More

The Atlas helicopter is the latest human-powered helicopter to compete for the Sikorsky Pr...

The efforts of Maryland University's Gamera II team in snaring the US$250,000 Sikorsky Prize for human-powered helicopter flight have garnered much attention (not least from Gizmag) in recent months, and with good reason. But the team is by no means alone in chasing down its sadistic requirements set by the American Helicopter Society in 1980. First tested in August, The Atlas helicopter, by human-powered vehicle specialists AeroVelo, is the latest machine to enter the fray, and has already flown successfully, becoming only the fourth human-powered helicopter to do so.  Read More

Velopresso has snagged an award from Deutsche Bank and came second place in a design compe...

Royal College of Art graduates Amos Field Reid and Lasse Oiva have put a new twist on the humble street vendor tricycle with Velopresso – a prototype mobile coffee making machine that uses pedal-power to grind the beans as well as turn the wheels.  Read More

The Gamera II team have broken the 60-second flight barrier and reached an altitude of ove...

The Gamera II team at the A. James Clark School of Engineering has certainly been keeping officials at the National Aeronautic Association (NAA) very busy this year. Kyle Gluesenkamp from the school's mechanical engineering department pedaled and cranked his way into the record books in June with a new official national record for human-powered helicopter flight with a time of 49.9 seconds, and now that too has been smashed. A new venue, and some vital modifications to the huge craft has resulted in the magic Sikorsky Prize 60-second barrier being surpassed for the very first time. Not only that, but Gamera II has also been taken up beyond eight feet before a serious crash landing put a stop to more record attempts.  Read More

The National Aeronautic Association has confirmed a new national record of 49.9 seconds fo...

The unofficial human-powered helicopter flight record set by Kyle Gluesenkamp from the A. James Clark School of Engineering's Gamera II team on June 21 2012 has just been ratified by the National Aeronautic Association (NAA). The new national record has now been submitted to the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale for approval as a new world record.  Read More

Gamera II pilot Kyle Gluesenkamp has smashed last year's human-powered helicopter flight t...

For over 30 years, the US$250,000 cash prize for the American Helicopter Society's Igor I. Sikorsky Human Powered Helicopter Competition prize has looked decidedly secure, but Gamera II has changed all that. Last week, Clark School of Engineering team pilots came so close to breaking one of the competition's major milestones that they could virtually smell it. Ph.D. candidate from Kyle Gluesenkamp from the School's mechanical engineering department, hand-cranking and pedaling like his life depended on it, managed to keep the huge quad-rotor craft aloft for 50 seconds, an impressive new world record that's currently awaiting validation by the National Aeronautic Association (NAA).  Read More

The Gamera human-powered helicopter team at the University of Maryland's Clark School of E...

Last July, the frantic pumping of upper and lower limbs of intrepid pilot Judy Wexler managed to keep the huge Gamera human-powered helicopter in the air for a record-breaking 11.4 seconds. The student team from the Alfred Gessow Rotorcraft Center at the University of Maryland's Department of Aerospace Engineering has since been busy refining and redesigning the craft for another stab at the elusive US$250,000 American Helicopter Society's Sikorsky Prize. Gamera II has been built for longer flight duration and is lighter and tougher than its predecessor, with improved transmission and enhanced rotor design. The new x-shaped craft is set to take off next week for its first test runs and the team is confident that existing record times will be smashed... but will it nab the ultimate prize?  Read More

Canadian adventurer Greg Kolodziejzyk is selling his custom-made offshore human-powered bo...

Canadian adventurer Greg Kolodziejzyk is certainly no slouch ... among other things, he has set the 24-hour endurance records for riding human-powered vehicles on both land and water. In 2010, he announced his plan to pedal an offshore-capable custom-built boat from British Columbia to Hawaii. After a series of open-water trials, however, he decided against the 3,000-mile (4,828-km) endeavor. The boat, called WiTHiN, is nonetheless quite the feat of engineering – and it’s now up for sale, should you have the cash.  Read More

The Athos mixes a bicycle and a quad

If the funky, Segway-powered Centaur, shown in our recent look at Dual Mode transportation, is still too powerful and heavy for you, it may be time to go Athos. Sort of an unnatural cross between a pedal-powered bicycle and a four-wheeled quad, this burly "extreme quad-cycle" aims to give riders a new option in off-road travel that blends BMX, motocross and downhill biking.  Read More

Charge music players, phones and other portable devices with your legs

K-TOR has added a new portable charging device to its lineup. The new Power Box puts your legs to work toward converting kinetic energy to electricity. Use it enough and you might just get your weekly workout. It is quite simply a pedal-powered generator equipped with a dual-pronged outlet so that you can plug in an AC adapter and charge your device directly from your leg power. The box works for devices rated 20W and below, including low-power netbooks, tablets, smartphones, video devices and portable game systems.  Read More

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