what about using human strength instead of electricity?
"Pedaling" is the answer of the association Cochapedal in Cochabamba, Bolivia.
Cochapedal salvages old bikes to turn them into "Bicimaquinas",
which are pedal-powered machines of all kind :
blender-bicycle , washing machine-bicycle , coffee grinder - bicycle, corn sheller -bicycle..
Cochapedal is a social company which develops environmentally friendly tools called "Bicimaquinas" (litterally "bike machine").
We have blender- bikes, washing machine-bikes , coffee grinder - bikes, corn sheller -bikes...
All of them are made using old out-of-order bikes,
in order to use pedal strength.
Thanks to bicimaquinas, one can emancipate theirselves from using electricity but also keep a control on machines.
All of the Bicimaquinas are easy to built and repair yourself, as their functioning is the one of a bike .
We undertake projects with schools, families and local communities,
in order to enhance their quality of life and working conditions,
so that they can work more efficiently, consuming less resources and producing what they need.
More than a gain of time and energy, using bicimaquinas is also an enhancement in the quality of life:
they give access to diverse equipments to families who do not have electricity or do not have enough money to buy them.
They are also good for health: making your own juice while doing sport, what a nice combination! ;)
In order to build a Bicimaquina, such as The Bicimaquina- Desgranadora, try to salvage and re-use as many pieces from a bike as you could
In this tutorial, we're building a Bici-desgranadora which seeds corn.
The structure of this bici-desgranadora could be adapted to diverse tools which have a horizontal rotational axis, such as a coffee grinder or a washing machine
Find more details and technical information on our tutorial written on the Low Tech Lab website
Step 1- Metallic structure
Let's start by building the metallic structure.
Weld the different pieces:
4 legs, 1 upper frame, 1 bottom frame
Add 2 diagonal flat irons, which should be previously drilled.
They will be the wheel's support
The corner piece on the side will be the support for the tool (coffee grinder, corn seeder...)
Build independently the support of the pedals, recovering as many piece from a bike frame as possible
If you don't have a bike frame, build one welding steel tubes together.
The "fish mouth " technique is a good way to draw the cut to assemble 2 tubes together. Use a rolled paper tube as a template.
Add a stand- tube on the front in order to stabilise the structure.
Then weld the pedal support with the rest of the structure.
Paint the structure to protect it from corrosion
Step 2- The pedals
Disassemble the pedals from a bike, then reassemble them on the bicimaquina.
Step 3- The wheel
Fill a wheel with concrete.
The heavy mass of the wheel creates inertia and absords speed variations during the rotation of the wheel.
Paint the wheel (let your artistic mind go!)
Step 4- The tool
Diverse tools can be adapted on this bicimaquina (coffe grinder, corn sheller).
There are 2 kinds of Bicimaquinas:
1 - bicimaquinas with a horizontal rotation axis (washing machine, coffee or cacao grinder, corn sheller )
Replace the tool's cranck handle by the chain ring of a bike
2- bicimaquinas with a vertical rotation axis (mixer)
To switch from an axis to another, conical gears should be added or removed so that the axis would find themselves on the same plane or not.
Before, all the machines were manual. Today we are turning them into pedal-powered machines.
Step 5- Mechanical conversion
2 transmission chains are used:
The first one transmits the pedals' rotation movement to the wheel,
as it could be found on a bike :
a chain connects the pedals' chain ring and the wheels' chain ring.
The speed gears could be changed using a derailleur, in order to adapt to the effort's difficulty.
A freewheel is added between the 2 mechanical transmissions chains
in order to disconnect them :
the wheel can carry on turning even when the user stops pedalling.
The wheel which is heavy thanks to the concrete will be able to turn for a long time after stopping pedalling.
The 2nd transmission chain cconnects the freewheel and the tool.
The chain is drawn tight by a derailleur.
Step 6 - The seat
The seat is made independently to the rest of the structure
and is not welded to it, so that its position can be adjusted
(it could be moved forwards or backwards) depending on the legs' size of the bicimaquina's user
Weld the frames together and screw the wood part.
We want people to realise that those bicimaquinas can help them to enhance their quality of life but also reduce their environmental impact
If we don't take this into account, it will be hard to protect the environment and the future of our children.
I wish everyone could use these machines. They are easy to build and are cheap,
but if you want, you can ask an organization to build it for you. There are many experts all around the world who build those technologies to enhance their quality of life and take care of this planet.
Thank you to Cochapedal for their warm welcoming