Up close to the Canadian border, on the New York side of Lake Champlain, Pedal Power Engineering is building “dynapods” — off-the-grid, pedal-powered machines that can power just about any gadget you might want to use around the house or farm. It can run a computer (via an electric generator), a grain mill, a water pump, a blade sharpener, a blender, or a log splitter.

log splitter copy


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Of course, you have to do the work of pedaling. PPE writes:

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An average adult can pedal it to generate 100 watts of electricity, pump 5 gallons of water per minute, grind a variety of grains, operate an air compressor, a hydraulic pump, most any hand-cranked machine, and a variety of small shop tools. It has been found to be particularly suitable for small scale agricultural applications such as cracking grains, churning butter, and pumping water.

The company’s founder, Andy Wekin, is apparently “an artist who had gone back to school to be an engineer.” Essex, N.Y., where PPE is based, is in farming country, so it’s not surprising he’s been figuring out pedal-powered applications that appeal to homesteaders. We wish we had a use for a pedal-powered log splitter, but the bike-to-computer track is more our speed.