Muller Jannie

About myself and everyone else.

Inventions

  1. The “Smart” recycle bin.
  2. Bamboo Bicycle.
  3. Uni-cycle.
  4. Moving water with no energy.
  5. The “Schauberger” Nozzle.
  6. The Shower band.
  7. Computer Game -Wasteland (2003)
  8. UK Gaming Venue & Expo – Ballista Entertainment(2003)
  9. Shower \ bath buddy
  10. Lo Rider

The “Smart” recycle bin.

Honestly since I can remember we had Addis bins, whether it was standing in a corner in the kitchen, right out the back door or more recently mounted in a kitchen cupboard. I don’t like taking out the garbage, maybe I have a sensory disorder, it smells. Liquid gets on your work clothes. Bags tear, not to mention you hardly find the perfect size. It feels like you are constantly taking out the bag, if you don’ have housecleaning . Your significant other or room femate, never squash the empty milk cartons flat. Out with the old in with the new like they say.

The new way
The bin has two compartments that is accessed via a the top or front (two models).

One compartment is dedicated to plastic, cardboard and other recyclable material, the other is for kitchen and household waste.
A compartment is opened via a button and “garbage” put into the area . This area is already fitted with an automated bag. Once the smart bin detects the correct weight of items in the relevant compartment that compartment’s content is released into a hatch where it is compressed by two metal plates and mechanical system. The ratio of compression range from 3-4:1 .

During the compression the parcel is shrink wrapped in plastic, depending on the compartment and it’s contents the plastic is either yellow or green to indicate the content. This also provides a revenue stream post sales. The colours help for recognition by recycle centers and yourself. The final compressed parcel is closely matched to the size of a brick. Once compressed and wrapped (heat wrapped in order to prevent leaks of contents and odors **lack of oxygen)
The parcel goes on a rail system and ends up in a tray at the bottom of the smart bin.
You can pull out the tray in order to empty it.
Key info.

Compression into brick size, 222 × 106 × 73 . This gives the volume of around 1717836mm3 , which is 1.7 liters. If the compression is minimum 3:1 this means 1.7 * 3 of raw garbage. This gives a compartment size of around 5 liters, with two compartments. A normal bin is around 40 liters ( this is a big Addis one). In order to get the same space usage as this standard bin we only need to compress 8 bricks. With the unit being standard white good kitchen appliance size. (standard size  842mm Width: 600mm Depth: 550mm ) we aim to use half the width.
This means our bin is 300 mm wide. using this size our total volume is 138930000 (in mm3), if we use a third (46310000) we can store up to 26.9 (25 for argument sake).

We can store 25 parcels. Looking at the uncompressed size of 3:1 (minimum)  we have compressed (25*5)  a total of 125 liters or depending on maximum compression optimally 4:1  and (6.8*25) this totals 170 liters of storage. This means that instead of emptying your 40l bin weekly you can now do it monthly! or even longer. Then again you almost never fill you bin 100%, with boxes or bottles curves of the bin or bag size you fill it anything between 50-75%.

Features

  • The unit helps recycling.
  • The unit can help municipal services with fewer trips for garbage pickup. **note extra work when remove shrink-wrap when it goes to be recycled.
  • The unit save you time emptying the garbage.
  • It gives you the convenience of bagging garbage for you.
  • It prevent all odors.
  • You garbage bin is no longer the unwanted, old dirty smelling member of the kitchen family.
  • You can modernize your recycling and pick the top of front load models.
  • It’s an absolute time saver for bachelors and small families.
  • No leaking or messing on clothes when you empty the garbage.
  • The bricks are compact and nothing falls our or tear black bags.
  • No more trying to shove the last bit of garbage in the bin for recycling days.
  • Easy plastic on a roll for easy bag change and installation.
  • Easy recycling because of the colour coded bags.
  • Safe for children to use. All the lids are shut and locked during compression.
  • Child lock feature.
  • Indicator for maintenance, bag replacement (no more running out of bags).
  • It also features and LED indicating when getting full.
  • Elegant look to match your kitchen.

** note it might be good to make it work with normal bags but it might not all be size, heat shrink , colour etc. compliant

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Bamboo Bicycle

I believe the success of an idea is how it originates;who it will influence ;how it will influence. This is where the idea came from. First of All I used to live in South Africa, in a great coastal area called Kwazulu Natal, Durban. It’s not my home town but it’s still a great place. I’m fortunate enough to have a an education, a good amount of willpower and plenty of passion for life. During my time there I always saw how many people walk where they need to be. Now I didn’t always have a car.  When I was in school I walked to school, if I wanted to go to a mall I walked. I’ve literally burned through more pairs of Airwalks than my skating friends did. I didn’t think of getting a bicycle at the time … lol , but I knew that even just a brisk jog cuts hours of time reaching your destination.

Aside from a balancing act at first a bicycle is not a difficult thing to master. After a quick look at www.wikipedia.org it indicates the bicycle was invented in 1818. I mean it’s been around for longer than the computer and how many time over have the CPU architecture changed. Our cars have changed drastically. Aside from materials such as lightweight carbon fibre and gears, the grand design is pretty much the same.

So I want to re-invent the Bicycle. I don’t just simple want to stop there though. I want to make this available to everyone,  mass produce bicycles to such as extent that you won’t even need to steal one. This might be very applicable to some countries. It’s not going to change public transport, that’s not the idea. The idea is to decrease the time travelling to public transport and from the public transport to the workplace and vice versa.  This means people spend a little less getting to work which means more money for them. They also get to work and back faster which means more time. Abiding by the formula time = money you  are getting a double whammy in terms of lifestyle improvement.

Why bamboo, first of all in order to produce a large amount of bicycles ( there is a lot of people in the world who might be able to use this. ) you need something sustainable. Aluminum is great, a bit soft, iron is great but makes for heavy bicycles not to mention digging in the earth which isn’t sustainable, at least not as sustainable as bamboo. Bamboo is very strong and relatively easy to work with, so you might create a job or two. There has been many attempts to cultivate bamboo in South Africa but not with great success. Bamboo is also cheaper than other “bicycle” building materials. You have to make it cheap enough for a company to sponsor a couple of bicycles for workers. It always looks good for public opinion.

You will end up using some form of metal \ rubber, however there is a great abundance of old tires in the world. This takes care of the frame and wheels, in terms of Mark I , I have not attempted to create a gear system for these bikes. Developed land is fairly flat but definitely a to-do for Mark II.

So we have a basic bicycle made up of a frame, wheels , we have the energy source , i.e. two legs, arms + torso and head. The bicycle is cheap, parts are replaceable due to a simple construction, it’s weather proof to a large extent and it helps everyone.

Not the same bike, the question is how to store energy in a fairly mechanical system as opposed to electrical. You will need extra energy because you can create it easily on level land when cycling. The idea I have is similar to that of a watch. The problem here is that although there is constant power it can’t take any torque. So storing energy will also need some thought, it will most like cause the change from a direct drive system through gears to a clock system where a spring is wound and slowly release energy.

It’s not too difficult though, reverse engineering of some of the kids’ old toys should provide sufficient information on how to do this. Bamboo can replace itself faster than one can “exhaust” a bicycle. So if you have some bamboo lying around and feel like a challenge feel free to email me and join the ride.

I’m still to do some conceptual art for this bicycle but you get the idea, change the life for many by improving it.

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Uni-Cycle(shere)

I love the topic of bicycles as you can see and I have good reasons to do so. Having a bicycle is great easy travelling, I think you can drive from an earlier age and probably to a later age. It promotes fitness, fresh air , community and general well-being. It’s also not a sport where people can bully one another as much, when you drive in a car you tend to get people turning right in front of you without a care in the world. One a bicycle, both parties can be affected negatively from this. The risk for the offender is much bigger and everyone is equally as vulnerable which I hope promote better behaviour. It’s better on the earth and your own health, interesting how those two are always short on each other’s heels. Again, a note to those inclined to frown upon change , some transport will never be replaced by a bicycle, you will get wet when you cycle in the rain which is not great or safe.

Do I cycle to work, nope I don’t. I’m not too far from work. Maybe around 10km. The problem is no bicycle lanes in some areas and personally I’m not a cyclist who thinks I own the road. I’m too scared of V6-8 cars, more so their drivers. I also don’t have the facilities at work for a nice shower, I like feeling clean and fresh when I get to work. Throwing a bicycle into the mix is one piece of the puzzle towards a different way of life.

So the uni-cycle. My car I own, weight 1.8 tons. It’s a 4 seater car (5 depending on what’s legal in your country). I weight 67kg. Why is my car 1800kg moving a body of 67kg, so let’s down grade. I’ll buy a Smart Car, 900CC and almost equivalent kg. It’s also a 2 seater, again 900kg moving 67kg. My BMI is in the green so I’m not going to lose weight to change that equation!

If you look at forces, on plain level ground it will take 68kg to move me forward. Not a great speed. But at a steady one. What form is the easiest to move , a circle , the area touching the ground is very small and it needs a very weak force in order to move it forward. We don’t life in a flat world , we live in a 3D world. So let’s create a 3D circle or a sphere. The same applies, the sphere can move forward very easily and it also has the benefit to turn very easy, when on a steady speed it will turn in a curve and from standing still it can turn in any direction instantly.

Based on the above a vehicle made of a circle or sphere can be made into a very efficient form of transport. You will need a force in order to move you forward this can be done with gravity in one of two ways, you can either have a track for the sphere on a gradient where gravity will do its own thing or you can create weight. My idea on how to do this is using mercury, (I’m not going to cover the u-boat myth full of mercury or the UFO propulsion) but mercury is magnetic. If  you thus create a magnetic attraction in the one area of the sphere it will attract the mercury, when the balance is off-center the sphere will move. When you want to change direction, you change the location of the magnet. Everyone knows that magnet can be created easily through current.

The final concept would be to house a seat and “battery” if using internal power as opposed to a track like a train. The membrane of the sphere would be of that in order to support the flow of mercury and perhaps a conductor in order to create the electro-magnet in any area. With some clever gyro computing similar to that in a Segway you can probably create only a channel in the sphere covering horizontal and vertical axis. This should be easier to do probably but you will have limited turning and less accurate driving experience.

When all else fails, you can always run like a hamster.

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Wasteland

In 2003, working in the UK London at the time I had plenty of time on my hands. The workload wasn’t great and the internet was blocked, the work environment was quiet, cellphones weren’t allowed and facebook didn’t exist, not in its current form at least.  I wanted to get into game programming, I spend some time after hours on IGDA and the rest of the time playing World of Warcraft.

I wrote wasteland as a game I’d like to play , FPS was bombarding the markets and aside from a few such as morrowind Elder Scrolls , RPG was dwindling. Ex RPG’ers was reminiscing about the Interplay fallout, excuse the pun. Interplay went under and the future of a Baldurs gate followup was unknown. Up to this point I have played many MMOs and I couldn’t find a purely balanced one, I decided to come up with an idea how to do this and wasteland is how.

In laymen terms, you start fighting with a club, everyone is equal, then you get handguns and rifles, aside from the range between a handgun and a club a well-directed blow to the head is equally deadly. Then the age of electronic warfare and plasma weapons, this would be greater than rifles but easily countered with super conducting armour and shields. The tutorial exert gives a good example on this. However if you wield these plasma and electronic weapons and except your attacker to wield the you will wear electronic shield armour. Which is easily penetrated via rifles and clubs as it’s not electronic. In this way an experienced player is equally as strong a new starter at least in terms of pure stats and ability . The guy behind the keyboard would be the ultimate cause for victory and not game dynamic. i.e. player skill rules.

The game also introduced dynamic question, this is a complete removal of NPC quests but it uses business intelligence common in the IT world in order to determine playing patterns and inventory and stats. This BI would then be used to generate a quest for a real player and between real players. This means that as opposed to the common everquest and World of Warcraft the destination is fixed. In this dynamic quest system you need to track down a real player for your quest. Which makes it more enjoyable. Experience is dependant on the time zone of the player , in-game distance etc.

I also introduced a player town system now in many MMO’s . In Wasteland however this is controlled via  common political systems such as autocracy and democratic. The mayor analogous to guild leader is in charge of the taxes and growth of the town. He is also in charge of the central computer which is a knowledge system used to share crafting plans and items by players, it also introduced trading between towns and loyalty increasing and decreasing depending on who you trade with. This is also configurable by the mayor of the town depending on the type of system they are using.

The writeup process to months to do and I finally felt confident to send it to a couple of companies including places like Bethesda. I’ve never heard back from any. Now, 2011, 9 years later I’m putting it on a blog purely because I have a blog and games have changed quite a bit and you need big studio to develop a AAA title or a couple of friend in IT.  I don’t have any who wanted to take up this title with me. The world needs good ideas and everyone have some, I’ll start sharing. After reading the intro again, I’m strangely reminded by current times and possibility for such as event.

Below the intro and exerts out of the 69 page PDF.  Complete with my spelling mistakes from 2003 LOL

wasteland – PDF for download

Background

They did not target a specific race nor did they target a specific country or city… we all were the target. Some time during the 21st century we were attacked, earth was attacked. Without warning or any kind of anticipation of such an event earth was invaded. The specific race was alien to us, the life form had a striking resemblance to humans but highly developed compared to us even so, it was the fact the they were carbon based that were the biggest surprise.

In immense chaos governing bodies from around the world tried to bring union to work together against the threat but before any agreement could be reached our window for survival draw to a close and cities were completely destroyed by orbiting alien battleships and alien infantry started appearing out of now where. The battle was of such a scale that even in a union of countries we could only try and retaliate with outnumbered infantry and unmatchable technology.

The invasion took us by complete surprise adding to our confusion and could perhaps be the only reason to justify our efforts. For some reason we thought there was hope left, perhaps we should have covered for shelter, instead we tried to fight back. In less than a day we lost 14 capitols of the world. Then it came. Whoever took the final decision must have figured if we can’t have earth no one will.

One of the worlds largest nuclear explosions were set off as a last resort striking them with all that we had.

There was no big applause, just silence.
There were no celebrations only empty town squares.
There were no flags raised in victory only scorn and bent flagpoles.
There were no heroes only survivors .
A great silence settled on earth.
We discovered the effect of what was left. Was this scorched crust earth ?

During the nuclear reactions earths magnetic shield were disrupted and electronic storms rained through the  atmosphere. Free radicals of outer space cut through everything like tiny razor blades destroying all in it’s path. Alien ships fell from the sky or burnt up in the atmosphere while others crashed down on the earths crusty surface. The heat of the cataclysmic explosions evaporated most of the oceans that started a process of the atmosphere’s restoration.

In the end, it was not the nuclear explosion that rid us of the invasion but cause and effect of an explosion of such an enormous scale. No sooner and unexpectedly as the invasion commenced had it been extinguished along with hopes of returning to a once bright future.

During the years after the invasion death tolls were tallied, families and friends were re-united. In each other we gathered hope. It was hope that spurred us into rebuilding the world not only to restore it to it’s prior glory but create a world independent from race or gender and religion. We learned from our past mistakes and can now truly make a
perfect world.
We had everything we need, technology, intelligence and most of all time to do it the right way. As the human race ventured forth in search of usable resources we were deprived of hope once again, like a rug being tugged from below our feet, we saw it, the first sighting, then the second third fourth… there was no more  counting.

It appeared that we were not soul survivors of the explosion . At first we thought them to be peaceful but competition for resource and technology soon led to hostility.
We did not survive the invasion for it has not yet ended.

Exert from tutorial (Combat Section)

Military advisor (MA)“Morning ladies” ,Welcome to the armoury here you will be armed with basic weaponry , first grab yourself a 9mm from the armoury and go to the range. You can fire a single shot (single click) and fire continues(single click +hold). “Now in any given circumstance some alien scum might jump up and bit you on the arse you hit it with all you got !” (right click + ? to hit with your weapon) .
MA “Enough with the shooting holster your weapons cowboys, grab some grenades. These are EMP grenades boys and girls so do NOT expect any fireworks! “ (When grenades are equipped you can throw with single left click + Hold for distance. Hold left click and you will see the distance meter increase. Throwing styles can be selected from a menu and a default can be set. The throwing styles can range from straight, blob or even curve depending if you have the skill. )
MA “good job but in this world it is not enough to be good at shooting nooby!”, “Next I will give you a run through military equipment. You might have noticed the EMP grenades that’s used this is because we cannot afford to have youngens blowing themselves UP! Fortunate for me as well “shrug” . Now!”
Witness the following:
Camera snaps into auto mode and show MA walk to weapons. Camera follows MA. MA Walks from guns to the  desk and fiddle with some control, in the shooting range a dummy appears. MA : “This armour you see on this target dummy is leather watch the damage indicator on the dummy. Can you see the dummy dummies ? *chuckles*
MA throws EMP grenade to dummy explode and nothing happens.

MA“Do you see dummies !?, UN SCATHED , DO YOU KNOW WHY DUMMIES, the life form is not affected by Electro magnetic pulses this can be much more useful on electronic targets. MA Walks over to desks and press some buttons, camera follows him and turns to robot in the shooting range. Camera switch back to MA. MA Throws EMP grenade to robot and destroys it. MA“Works like a charm doesn’t it”

MA press button again to respawn another robot. Camera follows robot and  zoom into MA he press another button” a purple blue shield starts growing from within the robot and after a few second makes a complete barrier around the robot. MA Throws another grenade and nothing happens to the robot. MA “See that ladies, the EMP charge neutralised by the shield. MY POINT!! Know your enemy no matter how strong they always have a weakness. Camera zoom into MA and view of him and robot is viewable , unexpectedly he turns around and draws a desert eagle and swirls around and blow the robot to smitherines!?

MA “HA! , Know your enemies lads. It will save your life” He turns around and walk to the desk. “Try those out and get your ass over here when your ready”. MA “Next I’m going to show you how to use your PDA if you do not have one I suggest you go to your locker in the rear (points to lockers) and get yourself equipped. In there rear of the room there are showers and lockers you can find the locker with your name on it. Open it and search for your equipment. Casual gear and PDA and small backpack.

MA “On the other hand I’m not going to show you how to use it, you head on over to the electronic department and they will give you a quick run through”.

Player cities an exert.

Player housing upgrading –

When a player wish to upgrade his house he can go to the upgrade menu and select the specific upgrade. The upgrade will generate specific tasks which can only be completed by owner and members  of the house.

Mayor Functions – every week a new mayor is elected. This is an automated process that enables a player with the highest reputation in a town to be a mayor and perform mayor functions.
Ambassador requests – this is a request by a player to become an ambassador for the town of the Mayor resides in. This allows a player with a negative reputation towards a town to trade with them and build a positive reputation. The mayor can accept or reject the request for the ambassador status. A Town can only have one ambassador for each specific city at a single point in time.
Zones – Zones can be used to give structure to a city. There are zones for player housing, infrastructure and buildings. An interface are available that show templates on zones with inner city as housing etc. There are a few variations. The mayor can also change the city to have free building (no zones) in a city with upstanding and understanding civilians this can be used. If the city loose it’s look zoning can be reinstated into one of the various templates. Zoning are done initially in the town creation process but can be changed by a mayor who is in his 4th
term. (Meaning he was chosen as mayor 2 weeks in a row). The default zone is “no-zone”.
Depending on the type of government the mayor can set the following:
Mayor term
Mayor change VAT
Mayor change TAX
Mayor set market rates
Enable/Disable ambassadors
Enable/Disable immigration
Enable/Disable custom tasks
Voting – (Mayor Only, players , custom reputation level)

Dynamic Quest Generation
Copyright reserved Ballista Entertainment Limited.

Various items, events and towns can generate quests the moment a quest is accepted by a certain individual he will receive a hint about the quest as to where to obtain more information. Quests come in various levels, some may not be very obvious to be a quest, the less obvious quests that require more “common sense” and “logic” from the player
will give much greater rewards. Once a quest is initialized the quest will be shown in the person profile for the specific player in the central computer. The status will be “pending” until an outcome is reached.

Quest categories will be “checked out” when a player accept a quest in order that duplicate quests within the same town doesn’t occur. With dynamic quest generation a lot of questing involves interaction with real people. Activity of players is measured and active players are more likely to be involved in quests playing the role of NPC, the goal with this is to reward active player for enriching the experience for fellow players. Although active players have a bigger chance to be involved in quests by playing various roles there are still a chance that less active players obtain a role in a quest. Reward for the player who start the quest will be the ownership of the item that started the quest. The reward for the player playing a role in the quest is knowledge gained about the specific item and reputation effects depending on the type of role.

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Shower \ Bath buddy.

This idea is a fairly simple one actually.

How did it come about – Ever since I’ve shared a shower with another person, for this argument we are going to make it a flatmate. I found that the other person loves a different temparture in the shower. This means that every morning and evening I spend a couple of seconds fine tuning the shower temperature to my liking. Like the pink panther opening a combination safe I move the tap slowly to work with the variable such as friction of the tap and the bit of play on the tap knob and the actual fitting that moves opens the valve.

This is how they shower buddy came into being!

Well that and the fact that I would really like to make the item and sell a couple of thousand of them and retire…

I did get some quotes at some stage for manufacturing the silicone bands but the company in China wanted me to wire transfer some money via Western Union.. so it kind of stopped there. Of  course I looked up local vendors but they are about 2$ more expensive and unwilling to sign a NDA. So now a year if not years later I’m posting it here.

Introducing – The shower buddy!

The shower buddy is a silicone band designed to fit most shower and bath taps found in the hardware store. This easy to stretch silicone band comes in two colours, red (hot water) blue (cold water). The shower band also comes with an option to be embossed with Braile in order for blind people to set their bath \ shower temperature without a problem.

The shower buddy is numbered from 1 to 9 with Braile serving as a .5 or half indicator for those sensitive taps!

The silicone stretchable design allows the shower band to be used for years without replacing! (j/k) I’m assuming this since it’s been years since I’ve replace the silicone in my shower and it still holds!

Key features

  • Cold Indicator
  • Hot indicator
  • Braile
  • Stretchable (fits most taps)
  • Large visible numbers.

Besides for the shower buddy being useful for adults or impaired. The shower buddy is also great to use for children or parents with young children or babies. You can be sure when you run the batch for your baby that it will have the same temperature time and time again. (always check the water to prevent burns! – a little fine print here for scammers).

Young children can also easily distinguish cold and hot water, they can also learn their numbers for their favorite water temperature. This can help children to get their bath water the right temperature every time!

How to use it?

Well, first fit the red band to your hot water (duh). Then fit the blue band to your cold water(duh). Turn on the bath and feel the water, when it is to your liking remember the two numbers.

a day passes.

Directly open the taps to your remembered numbers and voila!

Note that you can also get the shower buddy for combination shower levels where the cold and hot water runs through the same tap. The band features a 0 in the middle when turned off. The numbers indicated with dots in order for you to flip the band around in order to have the match hot and cold water directions matching the band.

Awesome!

Lo Rider

Birth of the Lo-Rider. Idea to prototype.

I wanted to design a bicycle initially from bamboo, the goal was to create a bicycle from sustainable material readily available in order to make the bicycle strong and cheap as possible in order for it to be used and serviced by many people, and parts replaced when needed. The target group was mostly lower income South Africans relying on taxis and who commute by foot most of the time.

I would have gone to companies and asked them to sponsor a number of bicycles for a community but instead life moved me to Australia…

Whilst in Australia my goal changed a bit, I found bicycle commuting is very common, mostly due to wide roads, dedicated bicycle lanes and probably the relaxed nature of the Gold Coast and most of all, the Australian flatness but then I answered the call from New Zealand

While in New Zealand I considered commuting by bicycle. New Zealand has many more hills than in Australia but several other factors stood in my way.

  1. I lived 30km away from the city.
    • Slowness, with reasonable fitness a bicycle can be peddled up to 30km/h on a level road. Thus it will take me an hour to get to work. Even If I get up at 6am I still have to take the time to shower at work and I also have to manage toiletries and fresh clothes on the bike whilst trying to reduce the drag on the additional baggage.
  2. During my drive I would be exposed to the elements.
    • In New Zealand this could be wind and rain from all sides. Since in this tip of the hemisphere it is also pitch dark that time of the morning and evening and thus the bike needs to have adequate lighting both for me and lighting to ensure my visibility to other road users.
  3. The safety of a bicycle is a problem.
    • If in the unlikely event of an accident I could fall off my bicycle and potentially end up under a car. I only have a helmet and gloves for safety. The separation between me and the tar is mainly cloth and reinforced padding.
  4. It’s uncomfortable to sit on a bicycle seat.
    • There is friction between your thighs and the seat not to mention the sensitive area right between the cheeks. In order to achieve proper aerodynamics you also have to lean forward on a bicycle which puts strain on the back. You also rely on moving body weight to the center of the bicycle and support this weight with your arms.

In order to overcome the above I had to fundamentally change the bicycle and that’s what I did!

The Lo-Rider design.

My design is different than other tri-cycle \ sitting or row bicycles on the market (available through google search). Although in different shapes and sizes they normally use the same circular motion to produce force. This is the fundamental area I have changed. Some designs in row bikes have only two wheels and with a rowing motion the center of gravity moves around and it is difficult to balance at low speeds.

Although the Lo-Rider is a low profile bike similar to what have been seen the force design is unique, with the production of additional force this provides greater speeds and a comfortable, safe journey. This is why I believe it’s a serious challenge to our current way of commuting.

The current design behind force.

A bicycle is powered by means of pedals connected on opposite sides of a drive gear. The gear is connected to rear wheel gear hub with a chain. Both of these gears could have ratios which accounts for different speed vs. torque.

gear

The gear is powered by a cyclist leg pushed against the pedal in a circular motion whilst sitting on a seat. The cyclist push the pedal in a downwards circular motion by extending his leg. Without specialized shoes that clips into the pedal the pedal is subjected to the force of the leg only during the downwards push(B) in the figure. As the pedal is pushed down the force completes and then the opposite pedal reaches the top. Finally the pushed pedal is now at the bottom furthest away from the leg. The drive gear has made half a revolution at this point.

The completion of the cycle happens as the opposite pedal is subjected to the opposite leg of the cyclist and is the pushed for the last half of the revolution in order complete one full revolution of the drive gear.

During the revolution the toothed drive gear would have pulled the chain around the circumference if the drive gear. In the bicycle I used as the sample which is a large mountain \ road bicycle hybrid the drive gear circumference is 56cm.

We can deduce that one revolution equates to 56cm of linear movement. It took 2 half revolutions to produce this. The 56cm linear movement will be enacted on the smallest hub gear due to this revolution. When a pedal is pushed down the leg has to be lifted up before it can be pressed down again, I call this a context switch, it’s required in order to get back to a “zero” point of initiation where the pedal can be pushed down again.

My design

I set out to find a way by which the human body can generate the largest, strongest possible linear movement in a single movement. The human leg is on average 45% of the body length. This is the longest limb that can be extended to produce the most force with the least amount of context switching. If we use the same mechanism as the current bicycle i.e. circular we can half this figure. Thus a direct linear system was to be used. I also believe that a linear leg extension has a greater sweet spot than the 180 degree half revolution of a push down pedal. Where less force would be generated between the 170 degree angle and 90 degrees.

By sitting on a bicycle seat you are limited by the amount of “down force” a leg can produce. This is why you frequently see cyclists stand and peddle to produce more force. In order to overcome the mentioned a linear system had to be combined with the sitting position.

This guided me into the “lateral squat” position.sitting

The lateral squat allows for the maximum leg extension and because of the sitting position supported by a chair-back there is no need to stand in order to produce more force.

By using the lateral squat position it also employs many muscles. Similar to gym equipment the pedal is fitted to a bolt which is guided by a pedal slit on either ends of the bolt.

By using gym equipment athletes can squat many times their own body weight. The guide also ensures a linear movement with no loss of energy due to trying to balance.
Since the sitting position with the lateral squat frees up the upper body I could also employ this for the production of additional force.

Due to the decoupling of the pedals, i.e. you don’t have to make turns between left leg, right leg, left leg pedal push it allowed for the use of dual independent drive chains. This is in order that you could choose to pedal by making turns between legs or alternatively you can push both legs at the same time. This however created a requirement for the pedal to get back to “zero” initiation point. In the circular single gear this was achieved by the opposite leg that brought the opposite pedal back to point “zero”. I used a bungee cord with minimum tension to pull the pedal back to “zero” from which it can be pushed again.

As mentioned above the upper body was freed up due to removing the major use for balancing and steering. With the independent dual chain being conducive to pedaling with both feet at the same time or making turns it also allowed for a rowing mechanism to be integrated.

side

This is achieved by two pulleys in the front of the frame and a rope with a handle connected to both pedals. The pulleys allow for equal pulling power to be distributed to each drive chain. Leaning forward in the seat you can grab hold of a tension suspended handle, the handle is kept out of the pedals and cables with a tensioner running from the handle to under the seat. Once you lean forward and grab hold of the handle you can engage in rowing. When the handle is pulled it pulls both pedals with equal force.

The steering handles are on either side of the bicycle and since you are holding on to the rowing handle and not the steering handle you cannot steer with them. You can thus only steer by leaning to the required side. This is an accepted effect; as it is assumed that the faster you drive the less likely you are to turn on a dime.

By using the lateral squat and a leg extension which is normally 45% of the body length even for a modest 1 meter tall person, this is 45cm. A squat can comfortable extended to 70% of that. On my body length I can comfortably extend about 50cm. This is almost double of the half revolution (56/2) = 28cm. This means that a single leg extension from a lateral squat can produce 50cm of linear movement and both legs when making turns between left and right legs will produce 1m.

This still excludes the force generated by using the upper body and the rowing mechanism. Rowing will not account for an increase in linear movement but it will increase the force of the pull\push since your entire body is engaged.handle

Lessons learned

Decoupling circular pedals –By doing this I had to come up with the bungee cord in order to get the pedal back to square one. Since there is a little bit of tension on the bungee cord there is a slight waste of energy here. Potentially when the free wheel turns it could be used to generate power via a dynamo for auxiliary equipment.

Decoupling circular pedals – By doing this I also couldn’t use standard gears. This is due to the design of bicycle gears. Gears are produced for left handed bicycles. This means that the chain is always on the left side of the wheel. Since the free wheel is design to fit on the left side of the bicycle I could only purchase a BMX Sporting freewheel with no gear ratios i.e. single speed. This allowed me to flip it around and use it. The negative side is that I cannot use the thread of the free wheel but since I was welding it to the drive shaft this was not a problem for me. This is why the prototype only has a single speed with no fitment of a derailleur.

back

Rowing rope – this hangs in the front of the bicycle. If you use your hands for the steering pedals and you push the pedals forward it generates slack on the rowing rope. If the slack is too long it dangles into the pedals or the ground and gets in the way. This requires a bungee cord with the same tension as the one used to bring the pedals back to point “zero” to keep it out of the way, if they are not the same tension the pedals are pulled forward without actually pushing it with your legs. The rope is connected from the top of the steering down to the seat. As you push the pedals tension is kept on the rowing rope and it’s out of the way for your legs and off the ground.

Single Wheel at the back – The first prototype had only a single wheel at the back. This allowed for the rear gear axle to be simpler but balancing was difficult. This is due to the long frame that flexes and limited steering. In a bicycle steering is used for balancing perhaps more so as opposed to steering at lower speeds. This can be seen as a cyclist waits at a traffic light for a light to go green. While completely stationary he can balance by moving the steering wheel, the same effect can be seen on monocycles in the circus where the rider has to shift his centre of gravity in order to balance. With the single wheel, length of the frame and seating position a person’s centre of gravity is not as flexible as on a normal bicycle. I couldn’t manage to balance with a single wheel. This could also be due to 1.8mm vs 3mm steel square tube which I used between the first and second prototype, some poor welding and minor measuring precision errors which isn’t very forgiving.

Pedal groove\slit – This is the slit in which the pedal bolt runs. Cutting a slit into the metal significantly reduces the strength and thus I had to use 3mm steel in the 2nd prototype. Instead of slits one could potentially design runners the fits on the side beams similar to that of a roller coaster. This won’t require a slit but giving it’s a prototype I couldn’t quite achieve this. You could also fit in tiny bearings which would reduce friction.

pedalPedal to chain connection – currently the pedal is directly connection to the rope which is connected to the chain. The idea was to use material like nylon which is strong enough, doesn’t stretch and light weight. It’s slightly in the way as it currently is although doesn’t affect performance at all. The pedal could be modified with a shoe similar to that on a horses’ saddle in or to fit your foot and have the connection for the rope and chain completely out of the way. This will the also allow the pedal to swivel and be steady in order for the force to pull more directly on the rear chain.

Steering– The current steering works with a cable connected directly to the steering fork running around the frame to steering handles. As planned the steering is limited to a couple of degrees. However I did to a prototype of using a flat piece of aluminium as a steering rod. This did work but I ended up using the cable as it negotiated the corners of the frame better. I would prefer to combine the cable (brake wire) with a seat that’s on springs that uses leaning for steering, much like the suspension on a motorcycle.

Other thoughts.

My 5 year old asked if she could ride the bike. Before I could heed caution she was on it and started to pedal, easily. She didn’t fall over and she actually did a pretty good job. She was strong enough to manage the frame and to balance; I obviously had to give my 3 year old a turn as well. It wasn’t as easy for her but the bike moved. I think her legs are just too short.

Based on friction-less 3 pedals per second, 50cm linear movement and a rear gear circumference of 10cm once the drive shaft we can calculate the following. 150cm / 10cm = 10 revolutions per second. The circumference of the wheel is 2.2m , so this is 22m/s or 79km/h. The total extension I have tested is 60cm which would allow for a greater speed but I prefer pessimistic calculations to prove the feasibility.

I have thought about using aluminium but the charge for this is more than for steel and more difficult to work with than steel. I’m potentially concerned that it also won’t be strong enough and not as rigid as steel. However I was pretty impressed by the strength using some pieces of aluminium in the first prototype.

Any electrical wiring will be done up front and the wires will run inside the pipe. I also had the idea to run the steering cable made of brake line in the pipe but this turned out to be overly complicating the prototype.

Vision for the future model.

Frame – The frame is to be constructed of pipe which is stronger than the square tubing ounce for ounce. This will allow me to use thinner material.

The frame will also have the required contacts male \ female in order to connect more than one bike to one another. This was an effect that can be achieved by the slim design and comfortable seating that the bike offers. This allows people to combine their bikes for a longer trip.As seen on the 3D drawing.

The frame can completely be covered as a capsule allowing for excellent aerodynamics better than a standard bicycle. Due to the lower profile and different driving system this could increase speed further.

The frame currently has a cavity under the seat and behind it. This space will be fitted with a derailleur in order to create a multi speed bicycle. This compartment can also be fitted as a “boot” in order to store a briefcase. This area can also be used to store a power generation module which allows for the powering of auxiliary equipment. This could be done via a dynamo and magnetic power generator.

The design on this frame is conducive to the fitment of proper indicators and LED headlights which will be a welcomed feature in the bicycle market.

The rowing rope and pedalling with both feet makes it quite a rhythmic ride. There is a requirement to add springs or a mechanism into the back shaft in order to create more flexibility in the frame to allow for leaning as an effective method of steering.

With a slight modification of the frame it will also be able to have an adjustable seat. This will ensure personalized distance of the extension of your leg. This will allow for maximum comfort and power.

Brakes –The brakes are fitted onto the rear wheels. A disk break would be fitted onto the rear drive shaft. This will allow central application of brake force. There is no front breaking.

Suspension – Adding shock absorbers will allow for better comfort and steering capabilities.concept2

Funding and the future

If the pledge reaches the goal I would make a precision model of the current prototype.

If the pledge exceeds expectations I would make a precision model of the current prototype but with a multi-speed drive shaft. It will also include better materials for the disk braking, the seat and derailleur additions. It will also include shocks.

If the ultimate pledge is reached of greater than $10000 I would prefer to circumvent the engineering shops who declined to work on the project due to the long investment of time and the small cost. I would like to buy the required machinery and hire like minded individuals who are experts in the field to build it along with a business

The is a long road ahead of the Lo-Rider, this is not just physically but design and budget constraints are only a part of the hiccups we can face along the way. Some countries have very regulated legislation which prevents certain modes of licensing transport for safety. There are also import regulation and taxes which undermines the financial feasibility to export to certain countries thus in some countries local production is required.

It’s much like providing fresh water in Africa.

As much as I would personally appreciate any pledge it’s the passion from individuals who will see a project through to it’s end more so than a many other things.

I got some inspiration from F.K. Day, President of http://www.worldbicyclerelief.org/ and Vice President of SRAM after some communications about the industry and this idea.

“Hi Jannie, Building a real working prototype is essential. At SRAM we say: A picture is worth a thousand words But a prototype is worth a thousand Pictures”

If you have managed to reach this end of the document I sincerely thank you for taking the time to read it and making a pledge Jannie

Media.

 concept

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One comment on “Inventions

  1. Pingback:  Introducing -… « Muller Jannie

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