Published on May 27th, 2014 | by Greg
K-TOR Pedal Generator: Power At Your Feet
Survivalists seem to agree on a few things. One of them is that whatever the problem, personal security will be of paramount importance. A safe food and water supply is essential. And power will be critical. Not everyone wants to spring for a generator though, and even then, you’re going to need to find fuel of some kind. We confess: as fun as it is to think about a zombie apocalypse, we’re preparing more for the next Hurricane Sandy, and other similar emergencies that can knock out power for a while. Solar power is a decent solution, but has plenty of downsides. Which is why we were thrilled to try out a human-driven alternative.
The K-TOR Pedal Generator is a great way to exercise while also generating some valuable current. A fairly portable solution, it’s just the sort of device that would come in handy on your boat or anywhere truly off the grid. The K-Tor Power Box folds up nicely for easy transport, and can set up in seconds. We found it a little challenging to use without finding an anchoring solution- if you pedal a bit, you’ll find it moving around and the company suggests screwing it down onto a piece of wood. Getting the power out is simple enough though- just plug in your device to the provided 120 volt outlet.
The bike pedals are standard so you can replace them if you want or need, and the unit felt fairly rugged- which is probably a good thing considering that in a pinch you might be relying on this little guy. With 20 watts of output, you’re not going to be powering a fridge or an air conditioner, but can easily amp up a few smartphones or even a tablet. As the embedded video explains, there are some limitations owing to the absence of a battery- the K-TOR doesn’t include a way to store the power, only directly charging connected equipment. They suggest adding a battery pack and an inverter, and there are multiple options out there if you need that capability. Note that the dynamo does make some noise!
The idea is sound: if you’re bored at work, or simply find yourself not exercising at your desk chair, you can combat your sedentary lifestyle without having to get a gym membership. An average adult can probably sustain the charging of a device for a long time, and improve their fitness at the same time. The K-TOR Pedal Generator is pretty cool, and even fun- kids like it, being able to see how they can take muscles and turn them into energy. Available now, expect to spend around $200, online and in stores.