• 4th August 2007 - By adventuresofgreg
    Ben has been making great progress on the new SolidWorks CriticalPower simulator for Wired Magazines NEXTfest show and also for our new season of KidPower presentations. Critical Power will be on display in the “future of transportation” pavilion at Nextfest from Sept 13 to 16.

    We purchased a cheap recumbent exercise bike to use as a starting point. Ben added his wooden recumbent seat at the same seat angle as Critical Power, and we welded on a vertical tube which will hold the large flat screen monitors. The vertical ‘mast’ also holds a flexible computer monitor arm which we welded steering controls to. This arm works GREAT! It allows us to easily move the handle bars forward or back depending upon the size of the rider. A tiltable flat screen monitor will be mounted onto the computer monitor arm just above the steering bar.

    This image shows the monitor arm fully retracted with the seat in the most forward (little kids)

    The image shows the monitor arm pulled all the way out with the seat in the rear position (tall people)

    The above image shows the the rough concept of how the steering bar will control the steering thumb knob on the Xbox controller.

    This is a screen shot from the Xbox game that we use called Mid Town Madness. It’s perfect for the simulator because you can ‘drive’ your streamliner anywhere you want in the virtual city while smashing into other cars and pedestrians. The kids absolutely love it. And now that you can pedal up to 150 watts WHILE steering your virtual streamliner through the streets, it should way more fun!

    We are also wiring up a heart rate monitor and wattage indicator.

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    • Anonymous on August 5, 2007

      For the wattmeter/power drain on the simulator you may want to try the generator setup we've built for demonstration at our community bike shop. It consists of a belt around the bike tire driving a pulley on a 110V DC Perm Magnet motor. This will drive an AC appliance such as a blender, coffee grinder, vacuum cleaner or other home appliance. It's incredibly simple and you can put a watttmeter on the appliance – and make smoothies at the same time. For higher resistance pour in more ice. At the end of the training session the rider has a refreshing smoothie or juice drink for their efforts.

      Just a thought. Let me know if you'd like more details or a picture.

      Good luck.
      Nick Hein
      Morgantown, WV

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