via EndlessFear Technology: Grayhair post
Finally! Finally! There may be a way to escape my husbands desire to ride a tandem bike together. At least I think there may be. Why? An inventor, who needs to be thanked over and over again, has invented a tandem companion. No, she isn't sexy nor alive!
In fact, Joules isn't a she or a he. Joules is a robot, invented by Greyhair, a.k.a Carl with no last name, who helps power an electric tandem bike. Joules is connected to the PMG-132 electric motor of the bike and he pumps the pedals of the bike just like a human does.
According to Carl he invented the bike for fun after a challenge from his son "a former pro bicycle racer". He writes in post at the Endless Fear Technology website that, "The fun part was coming up with a drive linkage that would use human-proportional legs to pedal in a circle matching the pedal cranks. The linkage delivers force tangent to the crank circle through the whole pedal revolution. The kinematics of the result are interesting to watch. (Hope that as a newbie I can get a video to work...)."
Take a look at this fascinating invention below:
Now, as much as I am fascinated by this robotic tandem companion idea, I am not sure if my husband would find much use for a bike like this. Lovely geek that my husband is he would definitely give the bike a try and love that someone has the ability to create a robot that will help ride a bike, but in the end I think the whole purpose to the tandem bike for my husband is spending time riding a bike (something he really enjoys) with his family. Joules isn't exactly family.
As an exercise tool though I can see this as a very beneficial bike. The way I see it Joules would help encourage people to ride further, to ride to their full potential. People who often fear going too far on their bike do not exercise to their full potential out of fear that if they go too far they will not have enough energy to come back. With Joules as a back-up plan people would feel more secure to go further and test their limits. Incase of exhaustion Joules would help them ride back home.
Am I mean because I do not want to ride a tandem bike with my husband? I am willing to try just about anything with my husband, but a tandem bike is so Brady Bunch to me I just can't see myself doing it. Does this mean people like me will be replaced one day by robots? Nah, that only happens in movies.
Via Treehugger and Bicycle Design and Endgadget and Endless Fear Technology