Student engineers show off human powered vehicle designs

Got a bike? It’s probably nothing like the pedal-powered vehicles brought to Bozeman, Montana a week and half ago for HPVC West, a design competition sponsored by ASME (the American Society of Mechanical Engineers). Student teams from nineteen university engineering departments showed up at Montana State University to display their human-powered prototypes… and, of course, to race them.

After watching the video above, you may think that these young designers focused on unusual and fast… but ASME’s actually looking for “highly engineered vehicles for everyday use — from commuting to work, to carrying goods to market.” Judges do look for something new, but the criteria by which they picked winners also involved safety features (and testing of those features) and practicality for day-to-day transportation.

While ASME itself hasn’t published a list of competition winners yet, MSU is already bragging about the five awards it took home. And two-year school the University of Montana College of Technology snagged the sustainability award for building their vehicle completely from “freecycled” bicycle parts (with no budget).

Like to take one of these bad boys for a spin? Built your own human powered vehicle? Attended the competition? Share your thoughts with us…