While the OLPC XO Laptop is certainly a low power machine, that’s just not good enough if you’re in an environment where there’s sometimes no power to be had. If you can’t plug in your computer to charge it, what good is it? Well, plenty if you come up with a way to charge it without relying on the electric grid.
There are already hand cranks available that let you charge up an XO Laptop while you’re not using it. But now the folks at OLPC Afghanistan have built a machine prototype that lets you charge the laptop while you’re using it by connecting a hand crank to a pedal. In other words, you can sit at a desk and pedal away to generate electricity while your hands are free to actually use the computer.
You can find a video of the prototype in action at the OLPC Afghanistan web site.
via OLPC News
Um, what existing, commercial hand cranks for laptops? None exist that I know of. Potenco’s ideas are still just that. Freeplay went with pedal power. The arm is way less efficient than the leg.
The OLPC Afghanistan site says it features a FreePlay Hand Crank with pedals
underneath, and the OLPC Wiki shows this:
Sadly, those are limited production prototypes – Freeplay doesn’t sell them. See OLPC Human Power Generation Reality Check.
I bet that one at OLPC Afghanistan is one of less than 12 ever made.
The closest to it for commercial use is their 12v charger: https://www.freeplayenergy.com/product/freecharge12v
It looks like they took the hand crank and attached a chain and pedals to it. It reminds me of something used on older sewing machines where they have a pedal power.
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