It should come as no great surprise that walking with a prosthetic limb is difficult. According to a newly published paper on prosthesis, walking with a prosthetic foot requires 23 percent more energy than walking naturally. This is because a natural gait returns and recycles energy in an efficient way, but a prosthetic limb wastes energy with each step. Scientists Art Kuo and Steve Collins have created an artificial foot that significantly reduces the amount of energy spent used with each step. View Comments
Human kinetic energy can be transfered in a number of ways. Human energy is most commonly used to propel bicycles, but can also be used to generate electricity and power hand-crank tools. Some third world organizations are implementing human powered technologies to generate electricity to power computers and other appliances. The articles on this page are about human kinetic energy and its many uses.
That may be a little aggressive, but Princeton University engineers have developed a device that may change the way that we power many of our smaller gadgets and devices. By using out natural body movement, they have created a small chip that will actually capture and harness that natural energy to create enough energy to power up things such as a cell phone, pacemaker and many other small devices that are electronic. View Comments
Today’s twin goals of keeping fit while doing something good for the planet by creating electricity without any pollution come together in a product that has been around for over ten years – The Pedal-A-Watt Stationary Bicycle Generator. Use your bicycle along with the Pedal-A-Watt Stand (it takes 15 seconds to drop your bike in) and create anywhere from 100 to 300 watts depending on how strong you are. View Comments
While there are solar powered laptops that will allow a computer to be powered without an energy source, not everyone may be able to afford them. There was always the hope that there would be an affordable way for people in poorer and very remote areas to be able to benefit from the uses of a computer and there finally is because of the pedal powered laptop in Afghanistan. Pedal power laptop is a pedal powered machine that uses nothing but pedal power to operate the laptop. The system is set up so that just about anyone with two legs would be able to power the laptop and they claim that even a third grader can step up to the pedal power laptop computer and get to work with no problems. View Comments
When we look closely at human history we can easily conclude that locomotion is one of the most primordial needs. But our current lifestyle does not allow us with much of the movements. We need to move more often. But it is also true that we live in fitness conscious times. Going to a gymnasium and working out has become a health statement. But till now many of us have not delved deep into what happens in a gymnasium and how can we utilize events happening in gym for better purposes. If we look carefully every member of a gym in a particular time slot is performing some controlled and repetitive motion be it lifting weight or running on a treadmill or doing crunches. What can we do with all these motions? View Comments
A dynapod is a stationary pedal-powered device. The word 'Dynapod' comes from the Greek words for power and foot. The dynapod can be attached to any kind of device or tool and used to generate power for a multitude of activities. The first design for this type of unit was introduced in 1968. Although it was not built, Alex Weir (Edinburgh University) built one and two person dynapods at Dar-es-Salaam in Tanzania. An cement-filled bicycle wheel was used as a flywheel. He developed and built many prototype units using square tubing for the framework. His prototype inventions were tested as corn grinders and a winnowing machine. View Comments
Bicycle sales have been booming in North America in recent years, with some sources saying high gas prices may be responsible for the trend. Bike shops are reporting high profits, bike lanes are expanding, and the web is exploding with useful blogs and websites designed to help cyclists. A few of our favorites are the Bike Forums, Bikely Routes, and the Bike Tutor. We'd like to see this trend continue as commuting by bicycle saves a lot of money, improves your health, and is probably one of the quickest and most effective ways to reduce carbon emissions! View Comments
Seattle company HumanCar®, founded by Charles S. Greenwood PE, has been developing human powered vehicles for over 30 years. Their showcase creation is the human car, a 4-wheel, 4-passenger vehicle that can achieve remarkable speeds of 60+ mph! Unfortunately the car is not available to the public, the orginal prototype cost $250,000. The stated goal of the project is to develop efficient transportation alternatives that inspire a "sense of an evolving socioeconomical model". According to HumanCar®, "The time is drawing near when all of the elements - manufacturing, marketing, and product optimization - come together in a cost effective and aesthetically pleasing form." View Comments
The first bicycles were made of wood, and were called Velocipedes. The first known wood bike is thought to have been designed by Leonardo da Vinci. While there is a lot of controversy surrounding the discovery of Leonardo's wood bicycle, the following resources make it clear that the popularity of the wooden bike is gaining momentum. Inventors all over the world have designed and built their own wood bikes, some for artistic value and others that have practical uses as a mode of alternative transportation. This article summarizes some of the best designs and provides links to the best of today's wooden bike resources. View Comments
The pedal powered generator from Windstream is perfect for emergencies, power failures, remote locations, and off-grid applications. It can be pedaled or cranked by hand to charge 12 volt batteries and run small appliances. The typical average continuous power that can be generated by pedaling the Human Power Generator is up to about 80 watts. The maximum power obtainable through hand cranking typically is about 50 watts. The pedals and optional hand-cranks are interchangeable. Re-engineered for more strength, easier adjustment, and smooth operation, the new MkIII Human Power Generator is the tool for energy education and self-reliant electrical production. View Comments
Freeplay Energy has released a human-powered electricity generator for commercial sale. Power is generated by pushing up and down with your foot on a step-action treadle. The FreeCharge can be re-charged by any 110v to 240v wall sockets and power input from other sources such as solar and wind. FreeCharge uses a lead acid gel battery which has enough power to jump-start vehicles, boats and many other electric appliances and gadgets. The unit comes with a 7Ah sealed lead acid battery, charge indicator, 3V-12V variable DC output adapter, jumper cables and a 12V cigaretter lighter adapter. View Comments
The Stark Mountain Health Plan, created by company co-owner Skimmer Hellier one morning fresh from a bike to work, pays employees $500 up front to buy a bike and promises an additional $500 if they completed 650 miles by the end of the year. For each mile they fell short of the goal, employees have to pay the company $1. All of the participants were on track to finish their 650 miles by the end of last week, Hellier said. Its been great watching as people get in better shape, Hellier said. Its been wonderful to see them go up that hill in 12th gear rather than 2nd gear. View Comments
Flickr: Appropriate Technology
Human Power Resources
Human Power Directory
Using power of human activity for electrical and other power needs.
Human Powered Directory
Web directory of information about human power experiments and electrical potential of humans.
The Pedal-A-Watt Stationary Bicycle Generator
The Pedal-A-Watt bicycle stand keeps the user aerobically fit while creating power that may be used to power lights and/or other small appliances.
Wikipedia: Human-Powered Transport
Human-powered transport is transport of person(s) and/or goods powered by human muscle.