Human-powered Ferris wheel


We’ve seen plenty of human-powered fair attractions, however most of them make use of pedals, levers or perhaps re-purposed bicycles as their interface for locomotion. This one is a bit simpler than that, as the operator just grabs onto the guard rail and pulls, kind of like a vertical roundabout. Scary, but totally fun looking. I’d love to see these in playgrounds! [via boingboing]


16 thoughts on “Human-powered Ferris wheel

  1. RocketGuy says:

    Simplicity and surprisingly smooth operation! I presume they have to balance the load fairly closely, but maybe the weight of the wheel itself is enough to make this less critical.

    Necessity is, by itself, a bummer. But what it motivates us to create in the face of it can be a real joy.

  2. Levers Fulcrums Loads says:

    Seriously, notice the operator pumping with his hand and arm. One mistake and the arm is scissored through the supports and the ride. Body parts gone, twisted, severed, amputated while riding. As he stands, witness those seats swinging as 100 pound plus bludgeons that so nearly graze his head. Screaming children cling to each other until the ride ends or someone falls off managing a huge equilibrium imbalance.

    “Daddy, I wanna get off. The man’s head is bleeding all over me!”

    “Give it back to him, honey, they can sew it back on!”

    As repulsive as it sounds it truly begs, nay, screams for OSHA, social organizer or an unlimited number of appropriate and inappropriate laws preventing this sucker from coming to a playground near you.

  3. Andy Johnson says:

    This reminds me of David Macaulay’s great book, “the way things work”. There is a human powered mammoth dryer when the author is describing centrifugal force. Doesn’t seem too practical though.

  4. Just stoppingby says:

    This same design could with buckets bring water into an irrigation system or rice patty. Peddle power or even a crank would make it more practicle. Not every location has fuel to run a pump to do the same function.

  5. dbrunker says:

    Boy Scouts have been known to turn ropes and logs into ferris wheels. Here’s one example (with lots more in related videos)

  6. Volkemon says:

    @Levers Fulcrums Loads- indeed, we need to defeat darwin and keep the children safe.

    Why my old elementary school no longer has the monkey bars, 25′ high metal slide or other fun stuff that taught me fear and gave me the thrill of victory when I mastered them. Yeah, may have maimed a few of the slower, clumsy ones, but made the fast and strong faster and stronger.

    Hey – here is the slogan for the nanny state:
    “As repulsive as it sounds it truly begs, nay, screams for OSHA, social organizer or an unlimited number of appropriate and inappropriate laws preventing this sucker from coming to a playground near you.” I smell sarcasm there? I hope so….

  7. Levers Fulcrums Loads says:

    My graduating class had nearly 20 students less than when we started in kinnygarten (sp?); maybe it had something to do with the long, shiny metallic slide (human skin grater and fryer), the monkeybars of death (contusion alley), and the merry-go-round (catapult of providence – “heads or tails?”). The attrition occurred during our childhood of the 1960’s so who could really tell if it was purely a “weak” and “unworthy” strand of DNA being weeded out or one of the roving packs of feral dogs found in the suburbs of Chicago?

    “Come on, try again, this time with feeling!”

    Sarcasm? I think not (Levers pushes over a weaker child).

  8. Volkemon says:

    Wow..I hope your kindergarden class was 50 people!

    OK, 50 in a kindergarden class is kinda silly, I do admit, but it does put the mortality rate of children under 21 in Chicago suburbs of the seventies at 40%. (!)

    Now, Wikipedia is not infallable, but a good start. I am welcoming any correction. Swaziland’s ‘crude’ death rate (everybody included who died/everyone there) is about 31/1000 people, or 3.1% in 2009. Now, the 60’s/70’s were a turbulent time, but I have trouble believing that the death rate was 10 times what Swaziland today. But..

    http :/ /gateway.nlm Abstracts/ma?f=102234079. html
    (remove any spaces to use) does state: “CONCLUSIONS: In summary, Chicagoans are dying at rates much higher than would be expected for comparable age, gender, and racial groups in the United States. Not surprisingly, the areas with the highest death rates are those that also have high poverty rates, high HIV/AIDS rates, high homicide rates, and high unemployment rates.” so I will not argue with your numbers. Glad you made it!!!! (Packs of feral dogs….Bwahahaha:)

    Next would be seeing what the leading causes of death were in your class, I will bet (without research) that slides and monkey bars are not in the top 10.

    BTW, the sarcasm was (poorly) directed at myself in case someone actually thought that I was saying slides and monkey bars would be as strong as ‘natural’ selection. I misjudged the audience. Now give that poor kid some candy. :)

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