Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Grasshopper Cycle

Cycling is stored as potential energy that catapults the vehicle and operator.
  (+8, -2)
(+8, -2)

This idea is categorized under Product: Exoskeleton because I realized, with the association of calling it a grasshopper cycle and seeing the category while perusing, that a bicycle is essentially an exoskeleton.

This exoskeleton is called the Grasshopper Cycle for two reasons. The first is that it is inspired by the fluid pressure mechanisms that insects and arachnids use for propulsion. The second is that it would be best operated on grass, rather than pavement, to prevent injury to the rider.

When first mounted, this is a stationary bicycle. The rider will pedal furiously, going nowhere, to store potential energy by winding a spring, pressurizing a hydraulic or pneumatic cylinder, or some other mechanism. Then, much as a catapult would launch a rotting swine's carcass beyond enemy battlements, the vehicle, and the rider too, is propelled forward by an actuated lever which pushes against the ground.

This lever has its own elastic shock absorption properties that will store and release potential energy upon impact with the ground. This springiness, coupled with the constantly pedalling cyclist storing potential energy, which is also released upon impact, continues the upward and forward propulsion.

This probably sounds more spectacular and dynamic than is actually possible by available materials and human performance. Nonetheless, none the less.

rcarty, Mar 27 2008

[elhigh]'s link I accidentally deleted. http://www.webcom.c...nkwrks/jumpbike.htm
Yeah these bikes are awesome. They may be on to something. [rcarty, Mar 31 2008]

       I want one. I'm afraid to use it, but I want one.   

       Although I did expect that this would be a setting on the washing machine.
normzone, Mar 27 2008

       A bicycle powered laundry machine is an excellent idea!
rcarty, Mar 27 2008

       "Not advised for use in urban environments, or near airfields or motorways."
8th of 7, Mar 27 2008

       //A bicycle powered laundry machine is an excellent idea!//
I've seen one of those - at a Scout Jamboree many moons ago. The contingent next-door (next-tent-flap?) to mine had one (or perhaps two?) for there laundry. It was a modified old-school ringer type.
neutrinos_shadow, Mar 27 2008

       You mean you couldn't download ringtones for it?
normzone, Mar 27 2008

       Wouldn't this be like one of those wind-up toys and do a back-flip?
lurch, Mar 29 2008

       //A bicycle powered laundry machine// was baked on Gilligan's Island.
bnip, Mar 29 2008

       Why would someone bring a bicycle on a <sings>three hour tooooour</s>?
rcarty, Mar 30 2008

       Indistinguishable from an ordinary bike, this could be left unattended outside the shop, where it would be stolen. The thief can be found a hundred metres down the road in a tree.
marklar, Mar 30 2008

       There’s a time-tested form of hopping machine: the pogo stick. You could put pedals on a vertical pole -- step-pedals, not rotating. When the spring is fully compressed, these pedals could lock in place, to prepare for the jump. The pogo foot can be made large enough for easier balancing. Any idea such as this will require a harness to secure it to the rider’s body so that it doesn’t spring away and cause injury. Riding the thing as intended will be plenty hazardous.   

       However, a pogo stick could be modified to compress and lock each time you land. A release lever would allow you to perform a short hop.
Amos Kito, Mar 30 2008

       Okay, I'll go wandering through the web and see if I can find this thing: a guy made a bike that would store energy and, when triggered, leap straight up into the air with the rider aboard. It'd go up about a foot-and-a-half or so. Awesome scary fun.   

       It's been over a year since I saw it, so let's hope I can figure it out.
elhigh, Mar 31 2008

       Okay, that was quick. Check the link.   

       Pedalling doesn't compress the lift mechanism; inertia from the jump does that. I reckon it's a bear to recompress if you mess up re-engaging the trigger.
elhigh, Mar 31 2008

       Umm... whiplash?
RayfordSteele, Mar 31 2008

       Brace yourself? I thought whip-lash was mainly an automobile related injury caused by people travelling around in a state of complete muscular relaxation.
rcarty, Mar 31 2008


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