In the recent times there has been much talk and brouhaha about the optimum usage of our energy sources, be these the conventional ones like coal and oil, or the renewable ones like solar, wind etc. And in the middle of this contemplatively serious debate, we do seem to forget about the most familiar and trustworthy source of energy – our very own muscle power. But this doesn’t keep a few innovative people from conceptualizing and designing crafty contraptions that would exclusively require our ‘sinew’ energy albeit in the form of pedaling. So let us put on our gritty faces and check out the 10 most ingenious things we can do with our ever reliable bike.
Pedal-powered water purifier
This adroit conception by Japanese water purifier company Nissan Basic by the name of “Cycloclean” – is a water purifying system that is manually powered by pedaling a bicycle, to produce a maximum of 5 liters (1.3 gallon) of clean, purified water in a minute! The bicycle features puncture-free tires, while the pump and hoses are kept in an attaché case-like box on the rear carrier and three filter cartridges are accommodated around the rear wheel.
Pedal-powered washing machine:
Pedal-powered Grain Crusher:
A team of students led by Beena Sukumaran, a professor of civil and environmental engineering, has contrived a fascinating new pedal-powered grain crusher. Made of sturdy aluminum, it can be affixed to any bicycle mounted on a stand. Once the rider starts pedaling, it allows the back wheel into turning a pulley that can move plates in the crusher, which in turn crushes the grains into smaller pieces.
Bicycle-powered snow plow:
Created by a man named Craig, this custom three-wheeled bike has a specially designed snow plow accessory. The creator states that “Up to 1 inch of snow doesn’t make it worthwhile to fire up my big 8HP snowthrower. And shoveling my 90′ long driveway by hand can be too much.”
Pedal-powered Bicycle Radio:
Being already in operation in Caqueta, Colombia, this effectual product is basically a two-seater bicycle that integrates a complete radio broadcasting system, which can send out Wi-max signals. Moreover, the whole conception is totally sustainable and eco-friendly.
Supposedly invented by an anonymous personality, this device is just a regular bicycle, but in place of the front wheel, a lawn mower is astutely incorporated within the bike. Sincerely simple in its conception, this ‘mowercycle’ allows us to go green and work out as well!
Pedal-powered Bottle Cooler and Heater:
Australian engineers have uniquely devised a pedal powered exercise bike connected to a heat pump with a pair of thick coiled copper pipes. One of them can heat any liquid passing through it, and the other one can make it cold just by utilizing our muscle power.
Nokia’s Bicycle Charger Kit:
Finally we have something that converts muscle power into precious electricity. Nokia’s newly unveiled Bicycle Charger Kit lets cyclists charge their mobile phone by just working on those pedals. Basically, the system makes use of a small dynamo that is induced when in contact with the rotating front wheel.
Pedal Powered Electricity Generator from Windstream:
Another contraption that makes use of our muscle power to convert electricity is aptly named as the Human Power Generator. But other than pedals, this handy device also contains hand cranks. The typical average power generated by pedaling is about 80 watts, and it is about 50 watts by hand cranking.
Tennis Ball Launcher:
This gem of a design is made from two recycled bicycles, scrap steel, wood, a 5 gallon capacity water jug and a lacrosse stick! It was originally conceived as an entry for the innovative pedal-powered machine contest. This certainly innovative launcher can be towed to the court by its built in bicycle trailer.