This crazy device will power your machines after the apocalypse

A group of bicycle-obsessed inventors have created the ultimate power source for the environmental apocalypse. As you can see in this video, you can use a simple bicycle to power everything from your laptop to your butter churn and wood chopper.

James Hamblin interviews the minds behind Pedal Power, makers of this awesome form of sustainable energy, today in the Atlantic. Though the technology still has problems for the modern office worker — you work up a fragrant sweat while working, and early prototypes were a little wobbly. But Pedal Power isn't about selling to tech workers and app grinders. Their designs are open source, available to anyone who'd like to copy them, and they're supposed to power everything in your life.

Pedal Power co-founder Andy Welkin told Hamblin:

There are people sitting at desks all day who would like to be more active, and that's one side aspect. That's one potential market for [our bike desk]. But we feel ours is also doing useful work. That's the most important function. Developing nations and people who are living off the grid; small farms and business that are trying to be energy-independent. There's one group called Maya Pedal in Guatemala that is doing great work, taking old bikes from the U.S. and turning them into machines to help pump water, blend food. It's amazing work that they're doing. We'd love to be able to get our machines out there.


These bicycle generators also look exactly like what we'd expect to power the world after the environmental apocalypse reduces our current energy grid to rubble.

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Annalee Newitz

I feel like we should see more of these in almost any post-apocalyptic story. Why isn't everybody using these in Revolution? There should be dens of bike slaves powering the grid in Fixie Camps.