OLPC pedal power


A One Laptop Per Child group out of Afghanistan have come up with a way to power the XO using pedals. The system interfaces a set of pedals with the Freeplay hand-crank charger, freeing up both hands for typing. Although not as compact, using both legs makes power generation much easier. Apparently a child as young as 3rd grade is able to pedal this well enough to power the computer in real time.

We just hope this contraption is used for learning and betterment, and not in a pedal-for-porn scenario.

[via Gizmodo]


  1. kirov says:


  2. Skitchin says:

    Forget that, I’m not sitting with a torque loaded chain in front of my crotch. And would you look at all those pinch points!?

    Sorry…my comments at least make me laugh :(

  3. BigD145 says:

    Whatever happened to sewing machines and fly wheels?

  4. tylak says:

    lmao pedal 4 porn

  5. Mic says:

    Lol porn, both hands and feet in action (Good cardio workout.). Why fake? Generators are easy to make, those laptops are cheap and use little power. You could probably make a generator out of trash that could power that thing (Good trash may be hard to find in Afghanistan =( Im like seriously you guys.). Most off all they really did send a bunch of those laptops to Afghanistan a while back. Which part is fake and why kirov? Just for curiosity sake. Black n’ white porn…..¿

  6. Polar says:

    This is a terrible idea; the people using these laptops are near starving as it is, they’d just pedal their one meal a day away.

    Solar panels would be much, much more efficient.

  7. soopergooman187 says:

    For the First time in History, Sitting at a Computer will not make you FAT! Nobel Prize winner right there folks.

  8. Mic says:

    I was gonna say something about the fat thing, and yea solar panels would work great in a country with little rain. Solar is more expensive thought…

  9. abhinav says:

    @Polar … solar panels ..? really ..? on OLPC ..? dude its … umm i guess supposed to Low cost …??!!

  10. abhinav says:

    @Polar … solar panels ..? really ..? on OLPC ..? dude its … umm i guess supposed to be(*) Low cost …??!!

  11. _matt says:

    I think the last thing an Afghanistanian is thinking about is being able to get off to pron.

    Nice idea though.

  12. I would guess that their generator could do better than power the laptop in real time, and actually charge the thing for a couple of hours use with just an hour of pedaling. A typical kid powered generator should be able to deliver at least 25W and while I do not know the power specs of the OLPC I am guessing about 10W?

  13. mikeY says:

    hmm – my dual core SU9400 laptop with a mechanical disk uses 10W – it would be hopeless for OLPC to consume *that* much

  14. sl says:

    Appparently an olympic sprinter can put out around 1500 watts or so. I’d imagine that a slow walk can’t take more than 50 watts or so, and you can keep up that level of exertion all day. So powering a laptop with this (my netbook on battery draws 9.3W, and that’s with wifi enabled) shouldn’t burn up too much food.

    Also, a flywheel with a ratchet system would be a huge benefit, letting kids take breaks without cutting the power. An old bicycle rear wheel seems like the perfect way of pulling that off.

  15. Dave says:

    “We just hope this contraption is used for learning and betterment, and not in a pedal-for-porn scenario.”

    This is the type of thing a jew would say about the inhabitants of Afghanistan.

  16. tj says:

    This is silly, but it’s neat.

  17. John says:

    I want to see them spin up the hdd with pedal power.

  18. nrp says:

    It is still a laptop. There is a battery in it to keep it running when there isn’t external power.

    @everyone else
    *sigh* There isn’t enough time in the day to fight the internet’s collective idiocy.

  19. soopergooman187 says:

    cept me of course

  20. RHF says:

    I think the important fact you’re all missing out on is in the bottom left hand side of the image – just above the left pedal, a wall socket. Hmmmm, maybe if the yanks weren’t so interested in keeping the heroin flowing there’d be no need for kids to pedal.

  21. therian says:

    bad reinvention of wheel, why not to use old sewing machine ? they was design thought ages to be easy to spin

  22. aztek says:


    Thats probably the place were they built this thing not the place they are gonna use it.

  23. coldwar23 says:

    Why don’t they have an infrastructure with power? They supply the WORLD with heroin, the least we could do is help them build an infrastructure lol. Maybe the Taliban could burn the poppies under a large boiler and generate steam which could drive a turbine and a generator.

  24. 0x808080 says:

    Look how fast that person had to pedal to get enough power, the antennas are locked in a rearward facing position… similar to someone’s hair after riding in a convertible for three hours

  25. Calmamity says:
  26. phil says:

    the windup radio incorperated a spring system, why not use the spring system( beefed up )then you can wind the spring, then relax for say 20 mins time for the spring to power the lapytoppy

  27. Frogz says:

    ya, i’ve been trying to do this with my normal laptop
    <100 watts isnt bad at all for a human to output, i was thinking more laptop mounted to old bicycle but this looks a little worse done than i had planned, like the table design though
    tell you all what, i'll post mine once done, it consists of a 12 volt battery(small, under 10 amp hours,maybe even less just to even out the output?) and a inverter, going to add a freewheel'd flywheel, power is pulled from either a: small car/motorcycle altinator, b: a big dc motor(i got 1 from a office printer, can pull 20 volts at like 5 amps from it when hooked up to a engine) or c: a big server i got, it doesnt produce voltage at high speed though….any advice?

  28. Mic says:

    @Frogs. Use super capacitors, they charge faster than batteries and the charge lasts quite a while. You cold try making a generator out of Hdd magnets and coils.

  29. solar tech says:

    Thank you for another essential article. Where else could anyone get that kind of selective information in such a clear way of writing? I have a presentation next week, and I am on the lookout for such selective information.

  30. Glory Gudger says:

    I’ve grown up around sewing machines my whole life, so I know a little about them.

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