Pedal powered computer

Energy & Sustainability
Pedal powered computer
olpc-afghan-crank.jpg

The OLPC Afghanistan team rigged up this pedal-powered generator for the OLPC. Using the generator from their Freeplay hand crank, the system is set up so that students can actually generate enough electricity to power the computer while they are using it.

It’s a pretty simple setup, but seems to make sense in this context. Anyone want to set up a ‘green’ coffeeshop filled up with these things? [via neatorama]

8 thoughts on “Pedal powered computer

  1. Earthbound01 says:

    We should harvest the output of people exercising. People using the elliptical machines and so on in a gym could probably power something. Just sayin’.

    1. Matt Mets says:

      Yes, especially their ‘waste’ energy. If you have the infrastructure in place for an alternative (biofuel production?), it might be better to use that. I’m not sure that humans are the most efficient way to translate chemical energy into mechanical.

  2. Dave Bell says:

    Looks good, and a great idea, but I would think the old sewing machine style pedals with a flywheel would be a better fit for a sitting and typing position. Two flat boards, hinged at one end, the other ends pulling on a crankshaft with relatively small throw.

    1. Matt Mets says:

      It does seem like they would be less disruptive then a full stroke pedal like these. I wonder if this computer uses more or less energy than a sewing machine?

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