Fighting against a tough headwind on your daily cycle can be a drag, but [Emiel] of The Practical Engineer, has a loud and bold solution. In the Dutch video after the break, he builds a transforming backpack with two electric ducted fans (EDFs), and takes to the bike paths.
An EDF moves a small volume of air at high velocity, which doesn’t make them great for low speed applications. But they’re nice and compact, and safer than large propellers. [Emiel] didn’t skimp on the rest of the hardware, with the motors attached to metal 3D printed arms, mounted on a machined aluminum steel plate.
The arms were printed courtesy of a sponsor, and created via generative design in Fusion 360 to make them both light and strong. A pair of large servos swing the arms up, while smaller servos rotate the motors into the horizontal position. The arm servos are controlled by an Arduino, and activated by a simple toggle switch attached to the backpack’s shoulder strap. A wireless remote similar to that of an electric skateboard is used to control the EDFs.
Fitted in a [Emiel]’s old backpack, the result looks somewhat innocuous (if you don’t look too closely) until it unfolds its hidden power—twin jets ready to blast away any pesky headwinds with the push of a button. It’s a fun solution that is sure to attract attention, and a great excuse to create heavy duty mechanics.