You may think that pedal power is reserved for bicycles, but designers are proving us wrong with their innovative ideas that harness the movement of our feet to power up their inventions. From a pedal-powered monorail to a Porsche Boxster that relies on some quad flexing to a music festival that prefers a crowd wearing good sneakers over a charged up grid, hit the jump for our 6 favorite pedal-powered designs!
The Schweeb is a low-impact take on the monorail that places people in plastic tubes (guided by a rail) that they can cycle to their destination in. As ridiculous as it may look, this idea has caught the attention of Google, and the super search engine has invested over $1 million into the scheme.
The mini-sub, nicknamed the ‘Scubster’, was designed by a team of French engineers and is entirely pedal-powered. The craft features a pedal belt connected to a twin-propeller system that can reach speeds of up to 5mph and a depth of 20 ft – not bad!
Last year Pedal Power NYC hosted New York City’s first human powered concert in Union Square. During the concert, 250 different volunteer cyclists cranked out some kinetic power on a fleet of 16 bike generators, providing tunes for thousands to enjoy!
For those who can’t afford a Porsche, here’s a more economical and eco-friendly alternative. One skilled sport car enthusiast built this gorgeous golden replica of the coveted Boxster and it runs completely on pedal power!
Dutch teenager Jesse van Kuijk has become one of the rare few to take flight on his own and he’s made it all happen with his pedal-powered plane made out of balsa wood, polyurethane, and rip-resistant foil. More impressively, Van Kuijk built his plane without ever stepping on a real plane before!
Last year, Mary Hark, professor at the Design Studies Department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and founder of HARK! Handmade Paper Studio, presented her latest paper-making venture for Ghanians. With the help of the bicycle-powered Oracle Beater, designed by Lee McDonald, fine art papers are produced from an invasive plant species making the process ecologically sound and grid independent.