Gallery: Schweeb: Human-Powered Monorail Flies Through the Skies

 

What could be more fun than gliding along on an eco-chic bicycle? How about shooting through the skies in a pedal-powered monorail capsule! A bunch of entrepreneuring New Zealanders has created just such a human-powered monorail system, known as the Shweeb. Their creation does double duty, acting not just as an innovative transportation system, but also an amusement ride. Are our cities the next step?

The technology behind the Shweeb is remarkably simple – the only infrastructure required is a network of interconnected single rails. A number of pods are hung from this these lines, which are powered by the people sitting inside them. In principle, these pods are no different than recumbent bicycles – they can achieve close to 25 mph, are comfortable to use, and can be used by nearly anyone.

Although we don’t expect to see cities connected by pedal-powered monorail systems anytime soon, there are a number of applications where they could be useful. Think of guided tours through natural parks, scenic routes, adventure camps, and developments that require large pieces of land and a reasonable amount of population.

For now the system is in use on Schweeb’s grounds in New Zealand. If you are feeling adventurous, feel free to visit them at Ngongotha, New Zealand.

+ The Schweeb

Via Treehugger

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10 Comments

  1. pduke June 24, 2012 at 11:18 pm

    Reminds me of futurama… so this is how it begins

  2. dc September 28, 2010 at 2:10 am

    I like it! People are much more likely to get in one of these than get on a bike, and they don’t have to worry about drivers. These things do need a baggage chamber, though.

  3. jakkofclubs January 25, 2010 at 11:07 pm

    I saw a segment about this on a show. Apparently when you combine forces you can nearly double your speed on these, so getting stuck behind a slow rider wouldn’t be a problem. Neither would striking another rider, as your supposed to work with others.

  4. jlee January 13, 2010 at 3:23 pm

    Won’t work. At least on bikes you can go around a slow rider. In this you’re stuck!

  5. davidwayneosedach July 26, 2009 at 12:19 pm

    I’d hate to collide with another human powered Shweeeb on the same track!

  6. Jeremy July 25, 2009 at 7:03 am

    Those are pretty cool, but I’ve got a feeling their application is fairly limited. Besides, imagine being in a hot city, trapped in a queue of them behind someone slow.

  7. chrisp68 July 23, 2009 at 7:39 pm

    people won’t get on bikes… what’s going to make them get on this?
    They are just too fat to fit inside or lazy!

  8. John C. July 23, 2009 at 2:56 pm

    The idea is not new, by many decades; there were several human-powered railway systems built around the turn of the 20th century, with at least one a suspended monorail. I would be more specific, but sadly my copy of “World On Wheels”, a history of early personal transportation technology, was a victim of our house fire.

  9. John C. July 23, 2009 at 2:50 pm

    The idea is not new, by many decades; I saw at least 2 different versions dating to around the turn of the 20th century in my sadly-deceased copy of “World On Wheels”, a history of early personal transportation technoloy (inline skates were far from new when Rollerblades came out, also).

  10. Bil July 23, 2009 at 2:01 pm

    What about a trail bike that does not require any “network of interconnected single rails. A number of pods are hung from this these lines…”?

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