Electric tricycle build log is like hacker crack

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This tiny little scratch-built electric tricycle is a insanely powerful. Some might think you don’t need a crash helmet for testing a trike, but seeing the video after the break where [Ben Katz] is flying through a parking garage while slaloming between the support beams proves that this ride has some pep to it.

Looking through the presentation post linked above is fun, but when we started digging though the six build log posts we felt ourselves getting sucked into the project. It’s a delight every step of the way. It started with an aluminum box which will host the two rear wheels, drive train, motor, and battery. [Ben] decided to go with A123 Lithium cells, and after testing to see how many he could fit in the space available he started making choices on the motor and driver circuit. When he finally got his hands on the actual cells for the project he took on the fascinating process of constructing his own battery. Dozens of them were hot glued, then soldered together before being encased by placing them in soda bottles and hitting the plastic with a heat gun. And we haven’t even gotten into the bicycle hub-gear transmission system, disc brakes, differential, chain-drive, and motor… you see what we mean about sucking you in.

Oh, and in case you’re wondering this is not [Ben's] first electric vehicle build. Last year he was showing off his all terrain scooter.

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NSL takes their propeller driven car to the drive through

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So what’s the first thing you do after completing your propeller driven land tricycle build? Head on over to the Starbucks drive through and see what kind of response you get from the workers. That’s exactly what the guys from North Street Labs did. You can see the response in the clip after the jump.

Having three wheels and being moved by an electric motor with a propeller led to the name TriFly. The build is their entry in The Deconstruction, a build contest which includes other entries like the Beer pouring machine we featured on Monday. Aside from the fun with the final project, NSL’s well-produced video includes a quick trip through the fabrication process. They did a great job making the machine about 40% street legal and it’s obvious they had a blast while doing so.

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Motorizing this trycicle

[Kaj] wanted to help out an aging family member by building them an electric tricycle during international Hack Day back on August 11th. He mixed in some reused parts with some new ones and ended up with bike that lets the rider troll other cyclists. Apparently when serious riders see an older man on a trike gaining on them they pedal like mad to make sure they don’t suffer the embarrassment of being passed. But there’s enough power and range to overtake the strongest of non-powered competitors.

Many of the parts came from a non-functional electric bike sold on Craig’s List. [Kaj] reports that the bike was trashed, but the motor system was mostly salvageable. He replace the batteries and charger and hooked up the motor to the rear axle. The initial install placed everything but the motor in the basket behind the rider. The weight and placement made the thing unstable when cornering. The solution was to house the batteries in a tool box and strap it below the basket. The lower center of gravity makes sure the trike is easy to handle, and now there’s still room in the basket for your groceries.

This would make a perfect platform for some road messages printed in water.

The Water Calligraphy Tricycle

Many westerners visiting or living in China may observe the art of “water calligraphy” and some may even try to imitate it. However, media artist [Nicholas Hanna] decided to take a totally new approach and make his own water painting machine.

Someone less creative would have devised some imitation of a human, but [Nicholas] decided to totally rethink the process in the form of a tricycle.  Using 16 PC-controlled water solenoids, this tricycle is turned into a sort of moving dot matrix printer. It doesn’t have the same sort of grace that the traditional Chinese art does, but it’s quite a bit faster, so if you want to get your message out, this might have some practical applications.

The post doesn’t go into the electronics, but the video after the break includes some close-ups and video of [Nicholas] assembling the device. If you happen to be in china, his tricycle is part of an event for “Beijing Design Week” at the Northern Electric Relay Factory until October 3rd.

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Spokes? We don’t need no stinking spokes!

The Air Kraken is a bicycle for demon spawn. Well, that’s what it reminds us of anyway. [Gabriel Cain] took his inspiration from burning man and also had several reasons for building it, but the one that we just love to hear is ‘because I can’.

The over-grown tricycle built for two is more than just some bicycle frames welded together. [Gabriel] built the wheel set himself using some very interesting methods. We believe the hubs themselves are actually automobile rims drilled to accept eye bolts. Instead of rigid spokes, a network of steel cable keeps the rims, made from plastic culvert pipe, centered. For grip, mountain bike tires were cut into pieces and screwed onto the pipe parts. The whole shebang is steered using a ship’s wheel (not pictured above) to turn the small wheel located behind the two riders.

After the break we’ve embedded a video of the vehicle in motion. It is the second of three videos that have been posted so far, with the other two walking through how [Gabriel] solved the design challenges facing him during the build.

[Gabriel] sent us a link after seeing the quadbike post on Monday. Don’t keep your projects to yourself, make sure to send us a tip and we’ll make sure to keep posting about them.

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A Tricycle built for Plowing

What do you get when you combine two bikes, a couple levers, and a home made wooden shovel? Why, a light duty tricycle plow, of course! [Craig] of Firefly Workshop cobbled together this contraption to assist him in shoveling his 90′ driveway when a few inches fall. More convenient than a normal shovel, and much more environmentally friendly than his 8 Horsepower snow blower, this trike looks like it could actually make shoveling the snow fun. Not really much more here than meets the eye, we just wish we had a video to share of this sweet ride in action.

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