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Insect Leg Bicycle (Foldable)

A new type of bicycle for fun and fantasy
  (+7)
(+7)
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This bicycle is for fun, not for efficiency.

1. Amputees often use a special prosthesis for sports; a springy, hard but flexible polypropylene or carbon 'leg'

2. This allows them to run very very fast, easily breaking the world record for sprints of 100 and 200m.

3. A similar type of leg-system is used by one of the fastest and most robust running robots based on biomimetic principles - many insects use springs for legs [link, especially the video is nice]

4. The 'Insect bicycle' [see illustration] is inspired by both:

-the wheels are entirely made up of strong but flexible 'legs'

-you would ride the bicycle as a normal bike, but for start-stop manoeuvres you would jump to get a spring effect after which you can overcome the first bit of rolling resistance

-the design also opens new perspectives for foldable bicycles; as can be seen in the illustration [top right corner], the spokes can be folded up; and so the biggest problem of foldable bicycles is solved, because wheels can not be folded up

-could be a neat bicycle for cross-country fun!!

That's it.

django, Jun 23 2007

The bicycle http://i3.photobuck...e1.jpg?t=1182622437
Note the foldable legs in the top right of the pic [django, Jun 23 2007]

Athletes with this prosthesis are very fast http://www.spectrum.../images/prosf1a.jpg
They easily beat Justin Gatlin or Frankie Fredericks [django, Jun 23 2007]

The Rhex - hexapod http://www.martinbu...r.net/projects.html
Check bottom left for a nice video, especially near the end you see it running fast [django, Jun 24 2007]

More Rhex, based on the cockroach http://images.googl...&btnG=Search+Images
Nice insect, very flexible, very fast [django, Jun 24 2007]

Pistorius beats most sprinters http://news.bbc.co..../europe/6898504.stm
Pistorius needs a time of 45.95 to qualify for the World Athletics Championships in Osaka, Japan, in August. [django, Jul 26 2007]

[link]






       The flexible legs provide an active suspension system, making this a good mountian bike, especially if the feet are shod with rock climbing shoes.
nuclear hobo, Jun 23 2007
  

       Anyone seen the sprinter with the bionic legs finishing second in the 400m finals in Rome? He ran the race for non-amputees. Very impressive! [link].
django, Jul 26 2007
  

       Very slick picture once again, [django]. I like the picture and the concept. This might offer advantages over a conventional wheel for rough terrain.
bungston, Jul 27 2007
  

       Dude, you just re-invented the wheel!
cowtamer, Jul 27 2007
  

       You'd probably want to tune the oscillations of each spoke to give you a maximum jump depending on how fast you're going. Or you could go with something loopier and have a 4-"wheeled" bicycle where each "wheel" is comprised of three mechanically actuated prosthetic leg-like things arranged at 120 degrees to each other.
cowtamer, Jul 27 2007
  

       I was thinking about this bike. It might be better to make these legs as protrusions from a small, solid internal wheel. I was thinking that you could do this with a only a hemisphere of legs - as the back leg on a given wheel left contact with the ground a smaller internal wheel would swing it up and over so it would be the new front leg making contact with the ground.   

       The internal wheel screws up the foldability, though.
bungston, Jul 27 2007
  

       What [bung] and [cowtamer] said. Nice graphics.
wagster, Jul 28 2007
  

       Grey literature on rimless wheels, yummmm! Why not just go with a polygon that has an infinitely large 'n' value, and then make the springy material out of rubber?
quantum_flux, Jul 30 2007
  

       This is awesome.   

       I could see meshing bimetalic strips within each flexible strut and using heat to propell it.   

       Just awesome...ok now who's going to re-invent fire?   

       I'll get on that, as soon as I can locate my eyebrows. They seem to have gone missing.
shapu, Jul 30 2007
  

       Lol [Beep], what graphics program do you use?
django, Jul 30 2007
  
      
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