Friday afternoon, we had the opportunity to walk around the site of the first-ever Maker Faire Detroit while exhibitors were getting set up. Among the wheeled contraptions we encountered was the contraption you see above: the Big Dog. This human-powered conveyance was designed and built by Tom Wilson of Royal Oak, Michigan in his basement and garage. Big Dog is actually the third such vehicle Wilson has constructed, with his original inspiration coming from a similar device he saw at the Burning Man festival several years ago.
Looking closely at the 600-pound machine (which stands a towering eight feet, six inches tall), it's clear that Wilson put serious thought and craftsmanship into it. Note the inboard-mounted rear disc brakes and the elaborate gear-change and chain mechanism. The centrally-mounted propane tanks are there to support the flame effects from the tower. We'll add photos of that if we catch it being demonstrated this weekend.