Paddling Help From Electric-Assisted Kayak

Electric-assisted bicycles, or ebikes, are fundamentally changing the way people get around cities and towns. What were once sweaty, hilly, or difficult rides have quickly turned into a low-impact and inexpensive ways around town without foregoing all of the benefits of exercise. [Braden] hoped to expand this idea to the open waters and is building what he calls the ebike of kayaking, using the principles of electric-assisted bicycles to build a kayak that helps you get where you’re paddling without removing you completely from the experience.

The core of the project is a brushless DC motor originally intended a hydrofoil which is capable of providing 11 pounds (about 5 kg) of thrust. [Braden] has integrated it into a 3D-printed fin which attaches to the bottom of his inflatable kayak. The design of the fin took a few iterations to get right, but with a working motor and fin combination he set about tuning the system’s PID controller in a tub before taking it out to the open water. With just himself, the battery, and the motor controller in the kayak he’s getting about 14 miles of range with plenty of charge left in the battery after the trips.

[Braden]’s plans for developing this project further will eventually include a machine learning algorithm to detect when the rider is paddling and assist them, rather than simply being a throttle-operated motor as it exists currently. On a bicycle, strapping a sensor to the pedals is pretty straightforward, but we expect detecting paddling to be a bit more of a challenge. There are even more details about this build on his personal project blog. We’re looking forward to seeing the next version of the project but if you really need to see more boat hacks in the meantime be sure to check out [saveitforparts]’s boat which foregoes sails in favor of solar panels.

Continue reading “Paddling Help From Electric-Assisted Kayak”

Pedal Car Vs Ministry Of Transport

[Tim] from the “Way Out West” Youtube channels has started a fun project — building a wooden pedal-car heavily inspired by “Bugsy Malone”. The kids-sized gangsters in that movie got around in kid-sized pedal cars. Apparently kid-sized [Tim] just loved the idea, but just didn’t have the skills or tools to try to build one. But the time has come, and he has spent years putting together a workshop, tools, and skills.

The goal is a 4-wheeled vehicle that can actually be enclosed, to keep the driver out of the rain. It would be petal powered, with an optional electric assist. It should be made of simple materials, like plywood and epoxy. The design would be freely shared, and the overall cost hopefully kept low. Come back after the link to find the rest of the story, including the monkey wrench thrown into the works.
Continue reading “Pedal Car Vs Ministry Of Transport”