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.