Posted on July 8th, 2014
by Patrick – Won't you help brighten a lonely comment box's day?
That lowercase Greek letter at the beginning is “Eta” (capital is “Η”), and it might seem like a vacuous headline but some of my recent posts should provide sufficient contrast to mega-corps and government, both of whom view innovation as something to be avoided. Contrast again with something like Toronto’s AeroVelo, a project-based company started by a couple of former University of Toronto propeller-heads.
AeroVelo’s innovation consists of finally turning interesting mechanical concepts into reality. For example, a while back this guy named Leonardo imagined human-powered flying machines.
Humanity got screwed on that idea for a few hundred years or so, no doubt due to government regulations.
Although they didn’t exactly follow the original blueprint, AeroVelo managed to get Leo’s vision aloft:
Before that they did a flappy-style flying craft, also powered by nothing more than gumption (and a guy pedalling):
And now that they’ve conquered the skies, they’ve just passed their goal on KickStarter to build the world’s fastest human-powered bicycle named “Eta”, of course.
To be specific:
Our goal is to build the world’s fastest human-powered vehicle, capable of surpassing the current level-ground speed record of 133.8 km/hr (83.1 mph)! This represents a mind-blowing leap in aerodynamic efficiency and vehicle technology. If your car looked like this, you could drive across Canada on a quarter tank of gas!
I’m not sure if I’d want my car to be this cramped, but I still think it’s neat that true innovation is happening at the individual level, in more ways than one. What’s more, while this all still looks pretty experimental, it seems perfectly reasonable to expect that AeroVelo’s ideas will trickle into the mainstream in a way that will reasonably be accessible to most people. It is, after all, just a very fancy bike.