• Jul 30th 2010 at 6:17PM
  • 8
Big Dog quadri-cycle – Click above for high-res image gallery

Friday afternoon we had the opportunity to walk around the site of the first-ever Maker Faire Detroit while exhibitors were getting set up and we encountered a few wheeled contraptions including Big Dog. This human-powered conveyance was designed and built by Tom Wilson of Royal Oak, MI in his basement and his garage. Big Dog is actually the third such vehicle Wilson has constructed – his original inspiration came from a similar device he saw at the Burning Man festival several years ago.

Looking closely at the eight-foot, six-inch tall, 600-pound machine, it's clear Wilson has put some serious thought and craftsmanship into this device right down to its inboard-mounted rear disk brakes and the elaborate gear change and chain mechanism. The propane tanks in the middle are there to support the flame effects from the tower. We'll add photos if we catch it being demonstrated this weekend.

Photos Copyright ©2010 Sam Abuelsamid / Weblogs, Inc.

[Source: ThirstyBeachLandscaping]

I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.

    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      All that work and the seat frames are held on with hose clamps? FAIL!

      OK, sure, I can see why....to make them easily adjustable back and forth. But a rather inelegant solution, methinks.
      • 5 Years Ago
      ... soo cute. Steam punk-ish, outlandish, weird as hell = cute. Haha.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Hey let them peddle that thing down here in Dallas in the over 100 degree heat.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Oh great, the SUV mentality is catching on to bicycles too.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I don't think that's necessarily a bad thing here. Think of how many calories you'd burn trying to move this thing if you used it for exercise! The 6 1/2 mile lake ride I do once a week would get my fat butt in shape in no time if I did it in this thing.
      • 5 Years Ago
      While I admire the workmanship, for the most part, this is a poor design overall. It looks like it has a high center of mass, and likely to tip easily.

      At 600lbs this thing is way overweight for a pedal powered vehicle. It's 20-25% the mass of a small car. My recommendation would be to lose the pedal power and switch to electric drive.

      All the extra framework, brackets, chains, cogs, etc., required to make this pedal powered, must add up to at least the mass of a small electric motor and a small battery pack. He could drastically lower the center of mass if he positioned the battery & motor appropriately. Also, if it were an electric drive vehicle, one person could operate it quite comfortably, which I imagine is not the case in its current configuration.

      His wife must be upset about the patio set too...
      • 5 Years Ago
      Ummm, how are you supposed to get on or off of that thing? that's atleast 8 feet in the air. where are the seat belts? there are no restraints! where is the safety?!? Bike helmets are not going to protect you for a 8+ foot fall while going 20 mph (or faster).

      I hope this thing get revised and I mean seriously revised before anyone even attempts to use it on a public road. I know this is a show/concept bike thing, but this is the third one he has built so he seems serious about it!
      • 5 Years Ago
      Looks pretty fun

      I wonder about steering though. Looks pretty tough with a small steering wheel at your hip.
    Share This Photo X