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Whirling Twirling Propeller Trike

CmdrTaco posted more than 7 years ago | from the mit-students-with-to-much-time dept.

It's funny.  Laugh. 136

hankmt writes "A student at MIT has built a tricycle that applies force to a giant rear fan, instead of directly to the wheels. The effect...well, it's best to look for yourself, but it would be pretty useful on the post-apocalyptic roads of the Australian Outback. The blades of the trike even have built in LED lights which display colored patterns...and also warn pedestrians of their impending deaths."

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OSHA wouldn't like that (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19744337)

n/t

If this trike concept became popular (1)

WormholeFiend (674934) | more than 7 years ago | (#19744353)

There would be a lot more room to ride on Multi-Use Paths...

Re:If this trike concept became popular (1)

decipher_saint (72686) | more than 7 years ago | (#19744791)

You've got a whirling blade of death there, you can make your own room.

Crazy (4, Funny)

grub (11606) | more than 7 years ago | (#19744357)


Those crazy MIT guys are lucky that Massachusetts just made health insurance mandatory!

Re:Crazy (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19745913)

What's really crazy, is that when someone at MIT takes a brown shit - it's front page news as a golden egg. :/

Re:Only in MA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19747163)

And MA is the only state with "mandatory" health insurance.

Dumbass Rolled Up Pant Leg (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19744361)

You know what also is funny? The way he rolls up one of his pant legs to be 'in style.' Real original, is he an MIT gangsta?

Re:Dumbass Rolled Up Pant Leg (4, Funny)

Dan East (318230) | more than 7 years ago | (#19744423)

You know what also is funny? The way he rolls up one of his pant legs to be 'in style.' Real original, is he an MIT gangsta?

Actually, the bike pulls to the right. So by rolling up his right pant leg that side creates less drag, which helps trim the bike back to the left.

Dan East

Reminds me of a pilot... (4, Interesting)

iknownuttin (1099999) | more than 7 years ago | (#19744639)

Actually, the bike pulls to the right. So by rolling up his right pant leg that side creates less drag, which helps trim the bike back to the left.

I once knew a pilot for parachutists and he would trim the plane so well that all he did to turn was to lean in the direction he wanted to go. I believe it was a C172 or something small like that.

Re:Reminds me of a pilot... (2, Funny)

pcnetworx1 (873075) | more than 7 years ago | (#19744841)

Only old Koreans would lean to turn a C172. It's all the rage now to do it in an Antonov, n00bs maybe can get away with a Starlifter

Re:Dumbass Rolled Up Pant Leg (2, Insightful)

rrosales (847375) | more than 7 years ago | (#19744899)

I believe the reason why he pulled his right pants leg is so that it doesn't get caught in the gears.

Re:Dumbass Rolled Up Pant Leg (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19744515)

Seriously? He rolled it up so it won't get caught in the chain.

Many bicycle riders do this (5, Informative)

benhocking (724439) | more than 7 years ago | (#19744525)

It helps keep the pants leg from getting caught in the chain. Don't let that get in the way of your "gangsta" knowledge, however.

Re:Many bicycle riders do this (1)

canUbeleiveIT (787307) | more than 7 years ago | (#19744889)

It makes you wonder if any of these posters ever rode a bicycle with long pants. As usual, there's nothing quite like a non-application of Occam's Razor [wikipedia.org] . Example: "My car won't start! Rogue clowns from Venus must have stolen my spark plugs!"

Why he/she interpreted the rolled up pants leg as the MIT guy trying to be "gangsta"is beyond me. For crap's sake, it isn't even "gangsta" anymore. LL Cool J popularized that in the late 80s. Since it is a covert form of communication, by definition if suburban white folks know about it, it's passe in the hood. For example, teaching your two-year-old to "hit the rock" is probably not going to get you any street cred down on MLK boulevard.

Re:Many bicycle riders do this (0)

fbartho (840012) | more than 7 years ago | (#19745719)

Hold on a sec, see, most consumer bikes I saw until I was 20 all came with chain guards. Even serious Trek mountain bikes had these plastic disks on the outside of the gears that prevented your pants leg from getting casually covered in grease, or actually caught in the gears and chain. It wasn't until a spectacular highspeed accident I had, that involved a large flat clear sidewalk with no obstacles in sight, a broken laptop bag strap, and a front flip or two, that I had that plastic disk broken away. The bike lives again through a good deal of unbending and rebalancing, but I found out that most fully assembled bikes come with that disk, however every single gear stack has slightly different attachments, size, etc and because of that, none of the 3 bike shops I visited could offer me any other solution than to: a) buy a new gearset (possibly with the bike) b) roll up my pants leg c) use a pants strap -- a goofy neon yellow reflector attached piece of velcro I get to carry with me whenever I don't want to damage my clothes while riding my bike. The manufacturers don't have a standard attachment or two for those disks (wtf) so they just don't ship them without the bike. Anyways, until that point I would have just thought the guy was nuts trying to be in some weird pseudo style, so I'm not surprised he [gp] hasn't been in contact with a bike with an exposed chain+gearset, and so might not know to expect that explanation.

Re:Many bicycle riders do this (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19746821)

Even serious Trek mountain bikes had these plastic disks on the outside of the gears
"Serious" mountain bikes most certainly DO NOT have plastic chainguards. They'd just break the first time you ride over a log, and possibly get the broken bits jammed in the chain. Some of them have metal chainguards, but those are to protect the outer chainring from impact, not to keep your pants out of the chain (mountain bikers don't care about getting dirty, anyway).

Re:Many bicycle riders do this (1)

stdarg (456557) | more than 7 years ago | (#19745553)

I've heard that before but I just don't get it. I've ridden bikes my whole life without rolling up my pants and I've never had a chain accident. Is this unique to "high performance" bikes or something?

It also depends on how wide trousers are at ankle (1)

blorg (726186) | more than 7 years ago | (#19745611)

...I know I've ripped wide-ankled trousers more than once because I didn't roll them up or use clips. [wikipedia.org] So yes, absolutely, it is a risk. An alternative is to tuck the trouser bottoms into your socks. I can only presume that people who don't see the need exclusively wear narrow-ankled trousers (or don't cycle much!)

Re:Many bicycle riders do this (1)

Fusen (841730) | more than 7 years ago | (#19745739)

I've had bikes that have ranged from $1500 to $300 and all of them had the same issue, except the very few that used gear guards which are basically just plastic circular plates put between the leg and gear :P I'm currently wearing track suit bottoms that are spotlessly clean on the right leg and have about 3 years worth of bike grease on the left leg which won't come out no matter how you wash them. I've only ever ripped around 2-3 pairs of trousers and it usually happens when the wind is blowing your trouser legs into the gears. Where as the oil and crap stuck to the gears is transferred to pretty much any set of trousers I wear when cycling :/

Re:Many bicycle riders do this (1)

stuntpope (19736) | more than 7 years ago | (#19747003)

Your pants are clean on the right leg but greasy on the left? Either you have a unique bike with the drivetrain on the left, or you sit on your bike facing backwards.

Re:Many bicycle riders do this (1)

Sperbels (1008585) | more than 7 years ago | (#19746057)

Happened to me twice when I was a kid in the 80's. I took the chain guard off my little Huffy because I thought it looked stupid. I was going slow both times it happened so I didn't wreck that badly, but I had a friend who was going about 20 mph when it happened to him on a nice hot asphalt road. There's something to be said for using your own skin as an ablative braking device...ouch!

Re:Many bicycle riders do this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19747587)

If your last name happens to rhyme with "hoop" as in basketball hoop, then I'm gonna have to find you and kick your ass....

Re:Dumbass Rolled Up Pant Leg (1)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | more than 7 years ago | (#19746809)

Maybe his mom got gunned down during a meth lab robbery by the local Knitting Devils gang

Re:Dumbass Rolled Up Pant Leg (1)

colmore (56499) | more than 7 years ago | (#19747743)

dress and fashion are inherently silly no matter how you slice it. some people like playing with it, some people just wear whatever everyone else is wearing.

the "dumbasses" are the people who let it bother them to any great degree.

First prize for impracticality (2, Funny)

trolltalk.com (1108067) | more than 7 years ago | (#19744371)

From the looks of it after watching the vide, its terrible at transforming pedal energy into forward motion, and I'd really hate to see what would happen in any sort of wind. At least a "real bike" you can get off and walk. Add bird strikes to the blades, the excess width, etc., and you've got a real problem.

Unless,of course, you're Wiley Coyote, and ride it off a cliff - you could autogyro down, I guess.

Re:First prize for impracticality (1)

Speare (84249) | more than 7 years ago | (#19744407)

I don't think the guy is trying to transform the energy debate, he just thought it would be fun. It reminded me of the bicycle in Miyazaki's "Castle in the Sky" (aka Laputa). And by the way, that's "Wile E. Coyote".

Re:First prize for impracticality (4, Informative)

Welsh Dwarf (743630) | more than 7 years ago | (#19744473)

The for the record, it's 'kiki's delivery service' that has the bicycle!

As impractical as the Bede fan car (1)

Engineer-Poet (795260) | more than 7 years ago | (#19744449)

This thing couldn't even get started on an uphill, or with more than a light breeze for a headwind. Forget climbing out of a pothole.

It's a very clever toy, nothing more.

Re:As impractical as the Bede fan car (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19745773)

It is more. They have discovered things such as how large and fast the blades have to be, what sort of speeds you can expect to attain, how difficult hill starts are; all sorts of information.

Re:First prize for impracticality (4, Funny)

timeOday (582209) | more than 7 years ago | (#19744647)

Oh well, millions of people per year spend good money on devices that do nothing *but* waste energy, such as elliptical machines, treadmills, and exercycles. And you can't even hack people to pieces with those.

Re:First prize for impracticality (1)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 7 years ago | (#19745631)

Actually the original Bowflex exercise machine used to do a good job at hacking people to pieces...

Brakes? (1)

colfer (619105) | more than 7 years ago | (#19744789)

Go slow, use legs.

Re:First prize for impracticality (1)

More_Cowbell (957742) | more than 7 years ago | (#19745167)

autogyro down?

Did you ever actually watch the cartoon?? if there is ONE thing Wile E. Coyote excelled at, it was falling off the cliff!

Re:First prize for impracticality (4, Funny)

trolltalk.com (1108067) | more than 7 years ago | (#19745271)

But in this case, he'd autogyro down, with that big sh*t-eating grin on his face, holding up a sign saying "PHEW!" and just as he gets to ground level - BAM! a truck driven by the RoadRunner runs into him and creams him.

Re:First prize for impracticality (1)

barry99705 (895337) | more than 7 years ago | (#19747449)

Unless the blades are variable pitch, he ain't even going to autogyro down. The way it works is to unclutch the rotor from the engine, the airflow spins the rotor up. At the correct time, i.e. right before you pancake into the ground, you pull up on the collective. That increases the pitch of the blades which creates more lift. The down side of this is that it slows down the rotor.

Re:First prize for impracticality (3, Informative)

tylernt (581794) | more than 7 years ago | (#19747951)

Gyroplanes (or gyrocopters, if you wish) auto-rotate all the time and can still do a zero-roll landing without a collective. The rotor speed is controlled by the angle of attack to the relative wind so you come in at speed and then flare at the last moment... not that that would really help a guy going down in this trike though, as he would have no control surfaces.

Re:First prize for impracticality (2, Interesting)

hszp (1023419) | more than 7 years ago | (#19746001)

Disclaimer: I would not want to pedal that sh!t uphill under any circumstances.

But it's simply great. How many of you would have thought such speed was possible in such an unefficient way? Sure: he could be three times as fast with an everyday ( "run-off-the-mill"? ) bike, but that's only better by a factor of 3.

Add a big helium-filled balloon to the thing and next thing you see he's flying (don't try this at home kids, you're not coming down the way you think you would).
Or build something similar for a glider plane (for braking, of course =))

Under certain circumstances, a personal carrier like this can prove to be the most efficient way of transportation. Where drag-force exceeds gravitational force by some constant. So: moon-buggy - no, underwater-vehicle - maybe, somethingcompletelydifferent - yes.

Catch my drift?

Re:First prize for impracticality (1)

pmac2322 (950847) | more than 7 years ago | (#19746841)

In any case, it doesn't use gas, elecricity, biodiesel, or any other fuel. IMHO, this is pretty cool, if he gets his safety aspects together, and works on gear drive, it could be a neat little invention that he might be able to sell. It seems like something that Leonardo would have drawn plans for. Anybody else think so?

You know... (-1, Offtopic)

BasharTeg (71923) | more than 7 years ago | (#19744379)

The kid kills Megatron with the All-Spark cube at the end, rather than Optimus Prime committing suicide to save the Earth. The only good transformer to die is Jazz (the "black" transformer).

No science (1)

tsa (15680) | more than 7 years ago | (#19744395)

This isn't science, this is technology. Very cool machine though; I especially like the complete lack of any safety measures concerning the big spinning blades! Can I hire that thing to get rid of my evil enemy Mr. Naughty?

Not technology either... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19744669)

Art maybe.

Re:No science (4, Funny)

hotdiggitydawg (881316) | more than 7 years ago | (#19745669)

Can I hire that thing to get rid of my evil enemy Mr. Naughty?
Well, Hans Reiser is otherwise occupied, so yeah, why not go with Plan B?

(cue the smell of burning karma courtesy of humorless mods)...

Re:No science (1)

tsa (15680) | more than 7 years ago | (#19746423)

You got me laughing!

Imagine a beowulf ... oh .... (1)

yfarren (159985) | more than 7 years ago | (#19744405)

forget it....

Re:Imagine a beowulf ... oh .... (1)

Tatisimo (1061320) | more than 7 years ago | (#19744509)

I for one welcome our air-propelled tricycle riding overlords.

Re:Imagine a beowulf ... oh .... (1)

yfarren (159985) | more than 7 years ago | (#19744527)

you mean Hitler?

Re:Imagine a beowulf ... oh .... (1)

yfarren (159985) | more than 7 years ago | (#19744559)

Sorry, wrong article...

Re:Imagine a beowulf ... oh .... (1)

erbmjw (903229) | more than 7 years ago | (#19744921)

"powered by these" .... that's what you were trying to say, right?

The big question is why... (1)

scatters (864681) | more than 7 years ago | (#19744411)

It should be pretty obvious that the effeciency of a propeller driven bike is way less than a bike driven by it's wheel, particularly one with multiple gear ratios. Just watch the video, the guy is pedalling pretty damn hard for not much speed (maybe he talks about that later in the video, I got bored half way through...)

I guess this proves that just because you can do something doesn't mean that you should.

Re:The big question is why... (1)

megaditto (982598) | more than 7 years ago | (#19744995)

Maybe he wants to use those blades to display '3-D' images with his LEDs?

I am not sure if this is what he does, maybe not, since it isn't that easy to figure out how to wire up enough LEDs in a line and update those based on their angular position. A mechanical engineering undergrad that can use microcontrollers?

LED images? (1)

Eevee (535658) | more than 7 years ago | (#19745151)

Already been done. Go to Hokey Spokes [hokeyspokes.com] and take a look at the demo video.

Re:LED images? (1)

megaditto (982598) | more than 7 years ago | (#19745783)

Great link, thanks. I did think he might try something along these lines since the rotation plane is actually more suitable for displaying it to traffic (perpendicular to the road and would work when the bike is stationary or moving slowly). Too bad TFA is not saying what exactly he does with the LEDs.

Pfft.... (4, Funny)

Digitus1337 (671442) | more than 7 years ago | (#19744477)

That thing blows.

Re:Pfft.... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19744569)

Technically, half of it sucks.

Re:Pfft.... (1)

ozbird (127571) | more than 7 years ago | (#19747745)

It slices! It dices!

I can't believe Slashdot. (5, Funny)

pclminion (145572) | more than 7 years ago | (#19744541)

This guy builds a trike with great glowing, whirling blades of death on the back and actually manages to ride it around for a while without getting shipped to Gitmo, and people just complain how it's not practical?

You people fail utterly at nerd-dom.

Re:I can't believe Slashdot. (1)

mrmeval (662166) | more than 7 years ago | (#19745241)

It's impending DOOM dammit.

Re:I can't believe Slashdot. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19746211)

you mean impending DNF?

In other news... (1)

jd (1658) | more than 7 years ago | (#19748103)

...the Department of Defence has just announced the purchase of 10,000 tricycles of doom, to be issued to Iraqi troops without any other form of ammunition.

Looks like something for Burning Man (3, Interesting)

Animats (122034) | more than 7 years ago | (#19744563)

The Burning Man crowd likes stuff like that. It's too late for this year's Department of Mutant Vehicles [burningman.com] registration, though.

By playa standards, this is unambitious. Check out the Neverwas Haul [tribe.net] , a steam-powered 3-story Victorian house on wheels that moves under its own power.

Re:Looks like something for Burning Man (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19745997)

Screw the DMV. It's pedal powered. They've got no jurisdiction.

Re: Looks like something for Burning Man (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19746115)

The Burning Man "Department of Mutant Vehicles" doesn't need to get involved because it's not a motor vehicle; so I'll be keeping my eyes out for the big, glowing, spinning fan blades of certain death/concussion/brokenarms.

Also: the Neverwas Haul, while very cool to look at, was not self-powered. It was towed by a steam tractor (which is still pretty cool). Perhaps they've modified it since last year and, if so, I hope to see it out on the playa again.

Position of the chain... (1)

LBArrettAnderson (655246) | more than 7 years ago | (#19744591)

Look at where the chain is... What if he hit a pebble or something and flew forward?

Um (1)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 7 years ago | (#19744603)

You noticed he's walking it?

 

Re:Um (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19747443)

Maybe you should watch the video where he actually rides it?

Fan cage? (1)

dfay (75405) | more than 7 years ago | (#19744657)

It seems like if he build a simple lightweight fan cage, he'd probably solve most of the problems with unhappy police or others. It also could save him money and trouble if he ever tips over, cuts a corner too close, hits a bird, etc. I'm sure fiberglass over foam wouldn't hold up too well to a sudden interruption.

That said, it's still pretty cool. I wonder how it compares to normal bicycle drive for efficiency.

Re:Fan cage? (1)

neuro.slug (628600) | more than 7 years ago | (#19744795)

A regular bike is much, much, much more efficient. I don't know exactly how much without a wattage output vs. distance measurement, but there's no way this could be anywhere as efficient as a normal bike.

However, it is really awesome. :)

But is it linear with speed? (1)

colfer (619105) | more than 7 years ago | (#19744855)

Are these fan-driven things any better once they get going at a good speed? Compared to a traditional bike, you lose the drag of the drive train, if there is any. But the big advantage would be if you could get the wheels off the ground. But I don't see how disconnecting the chain from the wheels allows enough design freedom to improve the aerodynamics much.

Re:But is it linear with speed? (1)

cannon fodder 0109 (787777) | more than 7 years ago | (#19746949)

Compared to a traditional bike, you lose the drag of the drive train


In which case, what does the rider of the propeller trike use to translate pedel rotations into fan rotations?

I guess it would be a drivetrain, which will have similar bend/straighten frictional losses in the chain compared to a regular bike.

Re:Fan cage? (1)

Hadlock (143607) | more than 7 years ago | (#19744809)

Weight! If he tips over the blades should be able to support their portion of the bikes' weight - the operator simply falls out. Fiberglass is rediculously easy to repair. An enclosure for the fan would probably increase the weight of the bike by 20% or more if it was at all load bearing.

Re:Fan cage? (1)

orlanz (882574) | more than 7 years ago | (#19745111)

The fiberglass over foam actually holds up pretty well. It may crack, but won't break off into pieces that go flying all over the place (if it was going fast enough to do that, then it would be making a ruckus like an airplane propeller).

And it is probably far more inefficient than a normal bicycle. Constantly pulling air from in front of you faster than it is flying by your whole vehicle in order to create thrust has to be less efficient.

Also, bicycling is the most efficient mode of transport there is. More efficient than walking/running on two or four legs. The thing that runs these three modes is the most efficient, flexible engine we have at our disposal; the human body. What puts the bike ahead is the terrain. Legs are designed for multiple terrains and thus aren't optimized to any one. Bikes on the other hand; well if you know your physics, it doesn't get much simpler than a wheel rolling over a flat surface.

I could go on with the inertia involved and such, but I think I got the point across. Google it, its fun stuff.

Re:Fan cage? Fully enclosed... (2, Funny)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 7 years ago | (#19745655)

Hmm, if he fully encloses the fan and adds a vacuum pump, then the fan will spin much easier and his forward speed will be pretty much the same...

Miyazaki did it first... (2, Informative)

Arctech (538041) | more than 7 years ago | (#19744713)

Or at least drew it first in Kiki's Delivery Service [imageshack.us] .

If it comes with a hands free iphone kit (1)

Timesprout (579035) | more than 7 years ago | (#19744773)

I'll take one

OK (0)

ewhenn (647989) | more than 7 years ago | (#19744785)

From the article title I was wondering what would make it Slashdot worthy. Sadly, after reading it, I confirmed that my suspicions were true - it's essentially a large fan on the back of a tricycle. Nothing groundbreaking or earth shattering about it. In fact, it is way less efficient than a normal tricycle. Also, call me crazy - but I don't feel comfortable with large unshielded fans behind my head.

Re:OK (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19744951)

Also, call me crazy - but I don't feel comfortable with large unshielded fans behind my head.
Well what do you know, OMGPONIES!!! -did- increase the number of 12-year-old girls posting!

Re:OK (1)

kryten_nl (863119) | more than 7 years ago | (#19745031)

Seeing as he is studying at MIT, riding around on the public road with an unducted fan, could almost be considered criminal. That being said ... throw in some blade pitch control and proper gearing (without the chain) and I would want one. In red please.

Re:OK (1)

SCHecklerX (229973) | more than 7 years ago | (#19746241)

It depends. If he took the time to optimize the fan blades (that's a fun aerospace problem), that would be cool. Especially if he had the ability to feather the blades. He obviously also rigged gearing in an interesting way (watch the video). Maybe not revolutionary, but interesting.

Far more interesting than the stupid computer 'hacks' that show up here all the time, which take little skill or imagination to pull off.

Brakes? (1)

invisik (227250) | more than 7 years ago | (#19744873)

Anyone see any brakes on the thing? Or does the driver just start blowing air out of their mouth forward?

-m

Re:Brakes? (1)

mcarp (409487) | more than 7 years ago | (#19745265)

well if he REALLY needs breaks he can simply turn the fan in reverse you imbeciles. altho at the speeds he's traveling i doubt breaks are much of a concern. its just cool ok?

if anybody wonders why he built it then look at your stupid case mods.

Re:Brakes? (1)

diskis (221264) | more than 7 years ago | (#19746129)

You ever heard about inertia? Stopping and reversing the blades requires a lot of energy. I learned the concept of inertia when I got my first gearless tricycle at the age of 3, and nearly broke my leg when suddenly trying to brake and the pedals kept on turning.

Re:Brakes? (1)

Kabuthunk (972557) | more than 7 years ago | (#19748195)

Here's a simple test for you. Try driving your car at about 20 km's an hour... and instantly jamming it into reverse. Those gears that are now lying on the road behind you? That'd be what's left of your knees if you tried the same thing on the bike.

I'm sure it'd be easy to have a hand-brake to lock the rear tires, and just slide to a stop that way... or perhaps a disk-brake system for the spinning fan itself... but simply attempting to reverse the blades... being helped along with movement mind you by the air passing over them... isn't going to happen without either the chain, the gears, or your legs breaking first.

Re:Brakes? (1)

Alioth (221270) | more than 7 years ago | (#19745503)

That's the next step of the project - being able to put the prop into beta. Either that or thrust reverser buckets!

Re:Brakes? (1)

invisik (227250) | more than 7 years ago | (#19746579)

Or perhaps a small parachute?

Just one word (1)

niceone (992278) | more than 7 years ago | (#19745221)

Cool.

"durr, they jump out of the way even..." (4, Insightful)

SuperBanana (662181) | more than 7 years ago | (#19745251)

(from the video) "...and they jump out of the way even if they're 20 feet away."

That's pretty smart on their part. Pay close, careful attention to how he restrains these spinning blades: A FUCKING PIPE CLAMP.

Maybe if he's so smart with matlab, he can work out the pulling force at a few hundred RPMs on those blades, frighten himself, and put a bolt through the blade and hub shaft.

Also, the design of the frame is pretty sketchy, with no bracing; he's relying purely on the static-load-bearing capacity of the tubing and his welds. If he collides with anything, the frame is going to come apart, and he stands a good chance of getting a chromalloy chest transplant.

Re:"durr, they jump out of the way even..." (1)

brycef (866665) | more than 7 years ago | (#19745387)

They are not even pipe clamps. They are hose clamps. YIKES!!!

I'm not so sure about this. (1)

PPH (736903) | more than 7 years ago | (#19745303)

Hwever, adapting the LEDs to beanie propellors could be cool.

Fan or Propeller? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19745337)

That's no fan. Contrary to the OP's mangling of the English language, it's a propeller. At least the MITers know the diff.

Research Funded By (1)

florescent_beige (608235) | more than 7 years ago | (#19745395)

The American Society of Civil Lawyers "Suing The Pants Off^w^w^w Everybody Since 1969"

Re:Research Funded By (1)

Alioth (221270) | more than 7 years ago | (#19745573)

Well, he has lost one pant leg after all!

MIT press.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19745527)

Why is it that any douche from MIT who makes something completely, utterly useless.. gets on slashdot?

Twirly rotors, that's nice (1)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 7 years ago | (#19745687)

The real question: can you use it to decapitate zombies? Because if not, phbbt, don't waste my time.

MIT Project List..... (1)

IHC Navistar (967161) | more than 7 years ago | (#19746299)

1. Propeller-powered tricycle. -DONE-
2. Button to order pizzas in an emergency. -DONE-
3. Empty Bathroom Stall internet alert system. -DONE-
4. Sledgehammer/Bowling Pin sharpener.
5. Validating/Confirming Scientology.
6. Wind Turbines for delivering green power to moon bases.
7. Candle powered gasoline pump, for pumping gas during power outages.
8. Knee pads so people can chew gum safely while they walk.
9. Submarine with a screen door.
10. Solar Powered flashlight.
11. Bathroom Webcams.

One would think that with the level of intellect those students have, they would be able to differentiate between an elementary school science project/unnecessarily hazardous/useless/pointless project and an innovative/useful project.

And people said I wasted my time in my middle school Spanish class drawing up a simpler, more efficient RTG.....

Re:MIT Project List..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19746831)

Solar powered flashlights work great.

It had to be said... (1)

dinther (738910) | more than 7 years ago | (#19746515)

"Whirling Twirling Propeller sTrike"

Very Cutesy. Would like to have one, but.... (1)

supertsaar (540181) | more than 7 years ago | (#19747255)

Did you all forget about the Gossamer Albatross [wikipedia.org] ?

From TFA.... (4, Funny)

argStyopa (232550) | more than 7 years ago | (#19747379)

"I spend a month a year working on a commercial fishing boat with a loud diesel engine, and the greatest sound in the world is to hear it turn off," says Damon Vander Lind, the creator of a soothingly quiet trike"

As opposed to a normal trike, which operates with ear-shattering volume?

Giant Blade of Death (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19747389)

I'm not sure if I should be impressed by a machine that replaces the simple act of directly driving the wheels via pedaling and inserts what seems to be a less efficient giant, decapitating fan blade.

See the Dog-powered one! (1)

rapidweather (567364) | more than 7 years ago | (#19747789)

I looked through the other entries besides the "winning" propeller bike, the last one being a "Dog-powered" scooter. They have a large frisky dog hooked up to it, on the side, so the driver can steer the scooter, rather than give commands to the dog. Looks ok, if we can use dogs to power sleds, then this one would do also. Only problem is when the dog goes after a cat, then you are in for a wild ride.
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