You may snicker but I was genuinely surprised at how strong the compulsion was to throw oneself of a stationary bike whilst trying to lean into the corners. The more experienced the cyclist was, the bigger the leaning issue. During the early test run Callum (who actually rigger these bikes) threw himself off and kicked in my favourite laptop screen (which would have been a complete disaster if I hadnt got some pretty good footage of him doing it).
So all the goodies, arduino etc are packaged up in the blue water bottle container there (genius idea courtesy of Callum)
The light mounted on the front of the bike and powered by the generator on the back wheel provided the load. By turning up and down the brightness of the light up and down then makes more work for the rider.
A hall effect sensor on the back wheel measures how fast the wheel is turning and sets the speed of the bike in the game.
In the background, the screen is displaying the riders eye view. I hadn’t intended to leave this here for the duration but it was such a crowd pleaser that I left it there the whole festival. It was great actually when the people queuing up to have a go were cheering on the rider.
In this particular game the goal was to round up sheep and flick them into the trailer you are towing (by running them down). The game was conceived by one of the students during a workshop at the local primary school.
In the background you can see the Regulator and battery setup courtesy of Greer Allen of Magnificent Revolution. Does a great job of capturing an storing all the spare power generated by the bike. The Bike is more than capable of generating the power to run the laptop (35watts) and oculus (5 watts + maybe some coming out of the computer USB???)
The generator sits up against the back wheel replacing the standard roller in one of those bike training stands. Having the adjustable height feature of the training stand was pretty convenient. In the background you can see the regulator (in the old ammo box) that could take the surplus power from all the bikes and feed it into the (yellow) deep cycle battery.
The bike when it was going hard was able to put out about 100 watts
The more electricity the bikes had to produce the hard it was to spin the generator.
This was hooked up to the gradient of the hills the rider had to climb in the game. The steeper the hill the brighter the light, the harder it was to pedal. The result was surprisingly convincing.
Just for good measure I wired up a bunch of bells and horns at the front that could be used to jump, fire or whatever. I didn’t end up taking as much advantage of these as I thought I might have…the main reason being the oversight that when you’ve got the Oculus goggles on its actually pretty hard to find the bells.
Heading off in the morning to go down and install these beauties at the Falls Festival in Lorne over new years and, quite frankly, a little daunted about how they might hold up to the onslaught of 16,000 adrenaline-fueled youths over new years.
Perhaps this shall be my last post….