There are some super creative professionals out there producing innovative solutions to urban issues using bicycles as the foundation for inspiration and design.
Another is the Vycle, which was first designed by Elena Larriba.
Vycle is touted as being a human-powered vertical transport solution to address increasing urbanisation.
What is Vycle– Urban Vertical Movement via Pedalpower?
Elena Larriba is a qualified architect (MArch) and an Imperial College and the Royal College of Art (MSc & MA) alumni.
Her work is concerned with responding to increasing urbanisation and migration.
Most densely populated urban environments and cities utilise vertical spaces. Therefore innovate methods for vertical transportation are being investigated – and harnessing the functionality of cycling is Elena’s answer!
Elena’s website explains that her design is inspired by bicycles, in that “Vycle is a system powered by continuous cyclical movement. Its benefits are twofold: firstly, it will give stakeholders a more efficient and sustainable option to ascend, and secondly, variable energy selection will be able to cater to people of varied ages and abilities, whilst creating a personalised experience”.
The two choices of moving about between building levels: elevators or stairs – and both have some serious drawbacks. Elevators require a lot of energy and encourage laziness, whereas stairs encourage physical activity, but that for some, this can be onerous or too strenuous.
In a nutshell, Elena believes “that stairs require a lot of effort for a person to go up whereas lifts are 100% powered and that this carves out an area of opportunity that sits between the two.”
Comparatively, using Vylce appears to alleviate these concerns by being compact and space efficient, easy to physically propel, as well as removing any reliance or use of precious energy and thus is incredibly environmentally sound – go bicycles!
The Vylce is currently only a working prototype. Further testing is required to take this product to market and comply with regulation level safety measures for implementation.
How does it work?
The Vycle team explain that this device operates by allowing “people to cycle up in an effortless and enjoyable way. The system is balanced with counterweights leaving the user body as the only weight to overcome. Using a gearing system similar to how bikes work, the user can decide how much effort they want to put to ascend or descent”.
You can see how Vcyle works in action in the video below.
Here is a possible future that Elena hopes to provide – pretty inspiring stuff!
I love the visionary and inventive ways bicycles are being utilised, modified and adapted to help provide productive and resourceful solutions to growing social, environmental and technological issues.
I can’t wait to see more ways where bicycles are being used to create a more positive future for all.
Images and video courtesy of ycle.co.uk