April 25, 2017
Hydraulics usually power giant machines, from bulldozers to airplanes. But can they power a bicycle? That's the idea behind the NFPA Fluid Power Vehicle Challenge, a national contest where students build a chainless bicycle, powered solely by hydraulic pumps and motors. In April, Purdue University won the 2017 competition, with students designing a custom bike frame that doubles as the hydraulic oil reservoir, and a smartphone app to monitor telemetry.