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When I mentioned to Chris Hackett, director of Madagascar Institute, that I’d have a bum knee during World Maker Faire NY, he offered to “get the Rascal Cycle working” for me. He did indeed, and I rode it from my station in the CRAFT booth to my demo performances on the opposite side of the fairgrounds. It saved my soon-to-be-operated-on knee a load of hassle, and I found it made most onlookers smile. Here’s MAKE’s editor-in-chief, Mark Frauenfelder, riding the electric hybrid Rascal mobility scooter/motorcycle, sporting his Madagascar Institute t-shirt, natch.


When I first rode the thing, it had two 12V batteries wired in parallel, and it went even slower than an average walking pace. Towards the end of Sunday, I got the itch to go a bit faster and switched up the wiring to supply 24V to the motor, which picked up the pace enough to cruise around the grounds with CRAFT’s Rachel Hobson jogging along side. Plenty of kids tried it out in front of the 3D printing village (with close supervision, of course). Thanks for furnishing me with such a sweet ride!

Photos by Matt Mets, click for high-res.

Becky Stern

Becky Stern

Becky Stern ( is a DIY guru and director of wearable electronics at Adafruit. She publishes a new project video every week and hosts a live show on YouTube. Formerly Becky was Senior Video Producer for MAKE. Becky lives in Brooklyn, NY and belongs to art groups Free Art & Technology (“release early, often, and with rap music”) and Madagascar Institute (“fear is never boring”).