Maker Faire 2007, part 4: DYI merry-go-rounds and faire rides

You wouldn’t think of faire rides as something that could be homemade, yet Maker Faire 2007 presented a number of DYI devices of that sort. Many of them were powered not by electricity, but by the muscles of the riders.

A bicycle merry-go-round. On this merry-go-round, riders sit on bicycles and pedal them to keep the merry-go-round going. What eluded me (and I didn’t look at it long enough to find the answer) was, do they all have to pedal synchronously or not? What happens if any of them slack off?

A bicycle merry-go-round at the Maker Faire 2007
CIMG7782 A bicycle merry-go-round

Here is another pedal-powered merry-go-round, only in this one, biking and riding is done by different people. The pedallers are stationary, they sit in their seats and provide the muscle power, whereas the riders do nothing except enjoy the ride.

Pedal-powered merry-go-round at the Maker Faire 2007
CIMG7784 Pedal-powered merry-go-round

A hybrid of a see-saw and a tiny Ferris wheel, this contraption is set in motion by the two riders pedaling. The seats rise and descend in a circular manner. As before, I had to wonder what would happen if one of the riders stopped pedaling, or pedaled out-of-phase, or backwards, or something.

Here, I think, the person at the bottom has just gotten into the seat. The two attendants will then let the device start spinning.

A pedal-powered circular see-saw at the Maker Faire 2007
CIMG7791 A pedal-powered circular see-saw

The bottom seat has risen to the top, and the person in it is clearly enjoying the ride.

A pedal-powered circular see-saw: top seat
CIMG7794 A pedal-powered circular see-saw: top seat

A pedal-powered centrifuge. The two people, seated at the opposite ends of the pole, push the pedals to make the pole rotate. I don’t know how they don’t instantly become dizzy.

A pedal-powered centrifuge at the Maker Faire 2007
CIMG7802 A pedal-powered centrifuge

As if the previous projects were not ambitious enough, here is also a DYI, pedal-powered, mini Ferris wheel. Except it’s not a stationary Ferris wheel. It is something even cooler: it rolls along the ground as the two people in the seats suspended on the spokes keep pedaling.

It does look like people are pushing it from behind. Maybe because it was rolling slightly uphill?

A pedal-powered mini Ferris wheel at the Maker Faire 2007
CIMG7806 A pedal-powered mini Ferris wheel