Students from nine US universities have been challenged to produce a 'commercially-viable human-hydraulic powered bicycle' before August 2005. The challenge is being sponsored by Parker Hannifin, a manufacturer of motion and control technologies and systems for industrial and aerospace uses. The winning students will earn $2000 scholarships.

You’ve heard of the electric bike, now here’s the hydraulic bike

"Bicycles are the most common vehicle on our planet (1.4 billion worldwide), but no one has ever used hydraulic power, one of the oldest sources of energy harnessed by man, to improve their efficiency," claims Larry F. Schrader, Jr., Parker Hannifin’s global motion & control training manager.

To fuel the contest, Parker Hannifin’s charitible foundation has provided grants of $10 000 to each of the nine universities so they can upgrade their ‘motion and control’ labs.

The universities taking part in the comp are Cleveland State University, University of Akron, University of Cincinnati, Purdue University, University of Illinois (Champaign-Urbana), California Polytechnic University (San Luis Obispo), University of California (Irvine), Western Michigan University and Murray State University.

Five students from each uni will be set the task of developing a hydraulic bike.

Entries must meet criteria for reliability, manufacturability, and cost effectiveness and complete three loops of a four-mile circuit that features a 400-foot change in elevation. Test runs will be held in August.


Anybody know any jokes about giraffes and hydraulics….

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