Thursday, July 24, 2008

The Shweeb

Human powered Monorail
The Shweeb velodrome is the world’s first human-powered monorail racetrack. It consists of two 200metre long overhead rail circuits that vary in height between two and four meters above the ground. Under the tracks hang high performance pedal powered vehicles. Between one and five vehicles can be loaded onto each track enabling teams to race each other or race against the clock.
Riders sit back in the recumbent position and due to the minimal resistance riders reach speeds of up to 45km per hour and on the curves getting up to a 60degree angle, making it a dynamic and thrilling ride experience.

Conceived in Tokyo by designer Geoffrey Barnett, the adventure park ride he built in New Zealand is partially a proof-of-concept for an ingenious, high efficiency, no emission urban transport system.

Barnett describes his high efficiency, no emission urban transport system thus: “Here’s how it works. You get up in the morning; descend to the second level of your apartment building where there’s a Shweeb port and empty Shweebs waiting for you. You cruise over the top of the traffic jams. You don’t pay parking. You’ve produced no pollution. You arrive at work fit, healthy and ready to go.
“You don’t own the Shweeb. You use it like a shopping cart. Empty vehicles are restocked to wherever they are needed.
“Shock absorbers between the vehicles ensure that vehicle come together smoothly. When a fit rider comes up behind a slower rider, the impact is cushioned and they act as a single unit. The rider at the rear is sitting in the slipstream of the leading rider and is able to put all their power into pushing the lead vehicle. Two Shweebs acting together will always travel faster than either rider separately. Even if the lead rider were to stop pedalling, the energy required to maintain a vehicle’s momentum on a flat track is minimal.

1 comment:

Snakebite said...

That's really cool!