Pundits and aficionados would ingenuously tell you that human power is the cleanest form of energy utilization that can possible in our modernistic ambit. This ‘biological’ source is utilized in a dozen of vehicles like bicycles, velomobiles and row boats. In fact, behind the paraphernalia of crank and pedals, it is the simplistic nature of the mechanical kinetic energy that efficiently drives such zero carbon contraptions. And, even beyond just reduced emissions and pollution, most of these ‘green’ machines also give us an opportunity to healthily exercise our muscles in the outdoors.
Human-Powered Snow Vehicle
Made with finished aluminum sheets, this light weight, sturdy yet easily controllable vehicle is fully ‘fueled’ by pedal power. In fact, beyond the visual complexity of the internal mechanisms, the contraption can be used to easily glide over those expansive cross country routes covered with powdery snow. Of course, it wouldn’t be so fast as snow mobiles, but the system more than makes up for it by its exercising nature.
Human-powered water pumps
Combining the classic essence of work and play, albeit with a vivacious twist; the Playpump fascinatingly showcases the adroit nature of its designers. Envisaged as a merry go round for children, the conception also acts a water pump, activated by the rotating wheels, which in turn are powered by the children. And, coming to its practical functionality, the device working to a depth of 100 meters at 16rpm, can be used for bringing about 1400 liters of water onto the surface in an hour.
Human Powered Car
Taking a page right out of ‘The Flintstones’, the human powered car is as sustainable as it gets. Maneuvered by a set of back and forth cranks hidden behind the solidly crafted chassis, the vehicle can be driven quite efficiently at a top speed of 30 mph, when four passengers work in unison. Moreover, the $15,000 car can also be driven by a single driver, in its hybrid electric motor mode.
Off grid laundry machine
Comprising of a bucket, a clothing bag and the lever driven shaft mechanism, this special contraption poses as the alternate albeit green form of doing your laundry. Completely DIY in its sylvan bearing, the ‘laundry machine’ can home made under the cost $50. And, even beyond its novelty and cost effectiveness, the machine can be used by the outdoorsy type, for their weekend camping trips into the wild.
The R2B2 Human Powered Kitchen Appliance Concept
What’s better than a human powered device with a single purpose? Of course, the answer is a human powered device with multiple functions. And, that is exactly what student designer Christoph Thetard has contrived in his ‘R2B2’, a pedal powered food processor. Designed to generate up to 350watts of power per minute, while pedaling at 400rpm, the quaint looking conception also has other peripherals like a coffee grinder, blender and even a kitchen machine.
Human powered lawn-mower
Utterly simple in its construction, yet intriguingly practical in its use; this is the fusion of a conventional bicycle and a hand powered lawn mower. But, time the lazy ones among us could use their leg power to pedal the contraption, instead of our precious hands. And, at last, we can only hope that the combination works as smoothly as its sleek visual attributes suggests.
Human Powered Gadget Charger
It is not exactly a new idea to crank up your phone’s charge by using a handheld device. However, the so named Windup Mobile Phone Charger notches up on the unique scale by being so ‘dirt cheap’ at just $10. According to the parent company, most of the mobile phones (unfortunately, excluding iPhone) can be charged by the compact contraption, which gives you 8 minutes of talk time with just 3.5 minutes of hand power.
Who would have thought that the mundane chore of plowing snow can be made to be fun? But, that is exactly what designer Kevin Blake has done, by ingeniously creating his DIY snowplow machine. Driven by purely green pedal power, the vehicle contrived from a couple of old bikes, took around 80 hours to complete. Furthermore, the plow is touted to work just fine, as described by its creator.
Human powered vehicle
The conspicuously aerodynamic demeanor is equally complimented by some state of the art technology in the aptly christened ZEM or Zero Emissions Machine. Having the capacity to be driven by two people, this innovative Swiss engineered specimen comes with pretty advanced features like hydraulic brakes, 4 point Elastomer shocks, Hella/Basta lighting and even individually adjustable ergonomic bucket seats. As for pricing, the range starts from $4,400.
Human Powered Grain Crusher
Utilizing just the driving capacity of a bicycle, a team of students led by Professor Beena Sukumaran from Rowan University have developed the human powered grain crusher. The simplistic mechanism uses the pedaled back wheel for turning a pulley, which in turn moves plates in the crusher to smash the grains into smaller pieces. Though still in its rudimentary phase, the designers are look forth have a field test of their creation in the villages of developing countries like Senegal and El Salvador.