# Can we design vehicle for animal self powered?

Danger
Gold Member
Of course we are not getting more power out than we are putting in, it is more of an advertising gimmick. It is all about reference.
Exactly!

berkeman
Mentor
I don't want to derail this thread now that it's back on track, but I want to explain one thing. My reasoning about efficiency of walking vs biking is that for the latter to be more efficient a bicycle would have to be an over-unity device; you would get out more than you put in.
Not over-unity at all. Walking and running are just very inefficient ways of moving around. You can't coast when walking or running -- coasting takes the invention of the wheel. When you coast down a hill on a bike, you are only expending baseline calories. When you walk down a hill, you are expending more. Same thing for riding easily on the flat and coasting half of the time.

That's why when I tried to answer the OP's original question, I was trying to think of some way to use animal power, but still be able to coast easily somehow. That's where the horse-supporting-cart thought came from. Kind of like a scooter/Razor-style for horses...

Danger
Gold Member
You can coast only after building up momentum through physical effort. Likewise for going downhill; you have to have first pedaled up the hill. Are you honestly proposing that a bike not only has no frictional and other losses, but in fact offers gains instead?
Think of hydroelectricity. Do the turbogenerators at the base of Niagara Falls produce more power than the harnessed part of the falls themselves? Not likely. It's a lot more convenient after conversion, as is bicycle travel, but there's still a loss.

berkeman
Mentor
You can coast only after building up momentum through physical effort. Likewise for going downhill; you have to have first pedaled up the hill. Are you honestly proposing that a bike not only has no frictional and other losses, but in fact offers gains instead?
Think of hydroelectricity. Do the turbogenerators at the base of Niagara Falls produce more power than the harnessed part of the falls themselves? Not likely. It's a lot more convenient after conversion, as is bicycle travel, but there's still a loss.
There are lots of things that go into the quantitative numbers that I linked to previously in this thread, and the bottom line is that bicycling is much more efficient than walking or running. Credit the wheel and gearing for most of that.

I know from personal experience that I can bicycle at 2x-3x walking speed on the flat with no more effort than walking. And I only need to add in a little more effort to bike at 5x walking speed. I can get to my destination and drink beer for both of us long before you arrive...

berkeman
Mentor
I had an interesting thought that would be pretty easy to prototype, and would be fun to see the results of. (And would apply directly to the OP's initial question.)

If you had a cooperative, well-trained and fun-loving dog, you could DIY make a harness coupled to a wheeled cart, so that the dog could hang comfortably in the harness, and either use his/her paws to run along, or lift them and glide. It would be fun to go for runs with your dog in such a harness, and teach him/her that they can glide for a lot of the runs. It would be interesting to see how the dog would learn to use the new gliding skill to improve the efficiency of their accompanying runs.

Then find a horse as intelligent as a dog.... Oops, guess not.

berkeman
Mentor
Maybe we should post a link to this in The Dog Lovers thread -- bet we would get some DIY takers on the challenge.

I think to train animal to use is not problem at all. What I really want is the design that would be sure easy and comfortable for the animal (it would be effect to training too) and about efficiency that should be useful as much as possible

The actual reason I think about this is to resurrect buffalo farming of my homeland. Also horse and cow farming around the world. To have green energy and preserve friendly animal relationship
But to do that. Efficiency is very crucial to benefit people who tame them

The actual reason I think about this is to resurrect..... horse and cow farming around the world. To have green energy and preserve friendly animal relationship
Then focus on the "efficiency" of the animal feed lol, or maybe more specifically on the efficiency of the animal to turn feed into food :tongue2:

How does an efficiently mobile farm animal improve the profitability of farming? Even in wealthy N.America green farming or "Organic" is not profitable (comparatively, often literally), this is food, not politics.

My hungry stomach doesn't give two hoots about how "dirty" it was to get food on my plate; my stomach only cares if and how much food there is, and for me and most people (hopefully) that's  related, not good for the environment related.

A long shot of an analogy, but drug addicts don't typically care where the drugs come from or if they were produced in an environmental friendly manner, just that there is an abundance :rofl:.

"Green" food production is more of a "culture" thing then an economics thing, because abundant food production requires and abundance of "fuel" of all types. In other words until the fuel "issue" is resolved "dirty" will always be much cheaper than "clean", nearly by definition of clean/dirty in this context (a comparative).

....I wonder what the "carbon footprint" difference is between an individual of "healthy" weight and one of obese weight, maybe the "carbon footprint" of food production per capita of your "homeland" is already comparatively "Green".

just a very general spewing of my opinion.

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And you should put manure into efficiency. Oil or gas fuel was more problem in transport than animal feed. Harness animal eat hay and grass then make a material for generate methane gas. When they died they also give you bone and skin for use

Efficiency for the feed cost is no need to talk about. It the same reason people use bicycle for transportation. To convert energy from food eating yesterday into distance and speed more efficient than walking

The reason I start this thread is because I already know that using harness animal in the same way as old day is less efficient than oil machine
And now I try to find new way to increase efficiency of using harness animal. To convert energy from feed that animal eating yesterday into more work than drafting. So we can use harness animal in the field work again without dropping of productivity that's my purpose

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berkeman
Mentor
Greeting. This is my first thread in engineering zone. Pleased to meet you all

As the topic said. I want to ask about how possible to make animal powered vehicle for animal
Or simply said, can we create bicycle for animal?

I just think that, Human walk is low efficient compare to bicycle. Even bicycle add weight into overall system. Using bicycle is faster and consume less energy than running

So, can we give animal the same kind of system? Some wheels connected to gear and.... Pedal? Threadmill? whatever. Anything and everything that can boost harness power efficiency and lower fatigue of animal

I want to find some way to let human able to use animal powered engine instead of fuel. But just using direct drafting like the old day is not enough anymore. Boosting efficiency with mechanical engineering is my hope
Do you have any idea?
Thank you
And you should put manure into efficiency. Oil or gas fuel was more problem in transport than animal feed. Harness animal eat hay and grass then make a material for generate methane gas. When they died they also give you bone and skin for use

Efficiency for the feed cost is no need to talk about. It the same reason people use bicycle for transportation. To convert energy from food eating yesterday into distance and speed more efficient than walking

The reason I start this thread is because I already know that using harness animal in the same way as old day is less efficient than oil machine
And now I try to find new way to increase efficiency of using harness animal. To convert energy from feed that animal eating yesterday into more work than drafting. So we can use harness animal in the field work again without dropping of productivity that's my purpose
Comparing your first post above to your latest post, you did not make it clear in your first post what your goal was. If it's improving the efficiency of using animals in farming, that is very different from increasing their efficiency for human transportation. If you had made your purpose clear from the start, much of the wasted effort of posters in this thread could have been avoided.

I don't think there is much that can be done to increase the efficiency of using animals in farming. That kind of farming has been around for so long, any tricks or improvements have been thought of already.

I have clarify my reasoning more and more between the first and the last so that should not be a problem to many people that listen and talk with me while try to really thinking. Most people being useful here because they understand
Only some person who don't actually read but try to mess with all people right here

To have some analogy for you. Do you know the rice milling machine in form of treadmill? Do you know that in the old day we mill the rice by let animal and people walk on the rice directly?
Why we create milling machine by threading and use animal to run on treadmill?

Do you know the bicycle pushing cart? Why people use it instead of pushing by walking?

In the history. We human always just use cow or buffalo to draft thing directly. Like we push a cart by walking
So I just start the tread for gather the idea about, how could we have something like a bicycle pushing cart for animal
And I start with just bicycle for animal first. It can be used in transportation. Add cart and tool for farming is option

I try to open for idea. People may have idea for this wider than me so I not tell fully purpose in the first place

Redbelly98
Staff Emeritus
Homework Helper
I think to train animal to use is not problem at all. What I really want is the design that would be sure easy and comfortable for the animal (it would be effect to training too) and about efficiency that should be useful as much as possible
I doubt it would be very efficient if you account for having to feed and care for the animal. They are not a "free" source of power. But you would have to do an actual calculation of the cost of maintaining the animal, and figure out the amount of useful work (energy) the animal can produce. Then compare that to the cost and work output of existing farm equipment.

The actual reason I think about this is to resurrect buffalo farming of my homeland. Also horse and cow farming around the world. To have green energy and preserve friendly animal relationship
But to do that. Efficiency is very crucial to benefit people who tame them
"Green" seems to be ill-defined, or may be an inappropriate criterion here. The animals would still produce greenhouse gases, and you need to compare that to the amount of gases produced by existing engines.

1 person
Because there are byproduct from caring animal that's why I'm not concern much about feed and caring. And it not so very different between machine maintenance. I have approximate that the transportation of fuel would be cost too
And if the animal could be less efficient but not too far then it would be competition of way to do farming

I may misconception the word "green" but at least it not produce carbonmonoxide and unnatural poison like oil and gas did. Also the oil was decrease from the world right now that's why

Thanks for help me concerning

berkeman
Mentor
This thread has more than run its course. It is closed.