Breathing Bike Scrubs Your Air as You Pedal

Bikes Biohacking
Breathing Bike Scrubs Your Air as You Pedal

There’s been a lot of talk about the pollution problem in Beijing lately. Last month, the air quality index there hit 755, going well beyond the top of the scale (which is set at 500). Matt Hope‘s defense against the enormous problem is the Breathing Bike, a bicycle that cleans the air as its pedaled through China’s capital.

Attached to the back of the bike is an Ikea wastebasket, which is positively charged by the generator attached to the bike’s back wheel. The wastebasket charges the particles in the air, which are then attracted to the negatively charged air cleaner mounted inside. The air is then fed through a tube to the rider’s face mask.

“It seems to make more sense to give you clean air rather than to try and filter it.” he says in the video below. “Because when you filter it, you can’t breathe. So I thought I could use my basic knowledge of electromechanical stuff […] to make this weird, provocative object.” [Thanks, Ben! via Core77]

YouTube player

14 thoughts on “Breathing Bike Scrubs Your Air as You Pedal

  1. Bart Patrzalek says:

    So how good is this thing at actually cleaning/scrubbing the air?

  2. Adam says:

    I see building tops as places to put large scrubbers to help clean the air.

  3. lrwickerdesign says:

    This looks like it could have made an appearance in Bladerunner, lol.

  4. practical says:

    Ionic air cleaner connected to your face? High voltage generatingvtremendous amounts of OZONE, right into your mouth? I hate to be that guy, but this device will remove particulate, but generate OZONE, which is worse.
    I feel like this needs a safety notice.

  5. tomas says:

    I think an interesting variation could be a fine vacuum-cleaner (HEPA) filter driven mechanically from the wheels. no ozone, no batteries, no high voltage.

  6. Stephen Knows Cancer says:

    Very interesting concept at play here! If there air quality is that bad, then I foresee more people developing new concepts like this one in order to limit their exposure to all of that pollution. Should be interesting to see how all of this plays out. As someone else has mentioned, there seems to be some implication that this could be harmful as well.

  7. Jon says:

    Stick an Aircraft Cabin Ozone Converter on there instead and power it with that 5000 volt unit. Add a modified catalytic converter, brita water filter (or just activated charcoal), and you might be able to drink and drive thru Beijing so to speak. Maybe even get paid for being an anti pollutant. Just encase the power unit in a sealed clear epoxy unit marked with safety stickers.

Comments are closed.

Discuss this article with the rest of the community on our Discord server!

Matt Richardson is a San Francisco-based creative technologist and Contributing Editor at MAKE. He’s the co-author of Getting Started with Raspberry Pi and the author of Getting Started with BeagleBone.

View more articles by Matt Richardson
Maker Faire Bay Area 2023 - Mare Island, CA

Escape to an island of imagination + innovation as Maker Faire Bay Area returns for its 15th iteration!

Buy Tickets today! SAVE 15% and lock-in your preferred date(s).