Urban Transport

Rennholz trike runs on electric power drill

Rennholz trike runs on electri...
Rennholz features custom 16-inch rims at the front and a 20-inch rear wheel, all using Schwalbe Kojak tires, with a caliper brake providing stopping power at the rear
Rennholz features custom 16-inch rims at the front and a 20-inch rear wheel, all using Schwalbe Kojak tires, with a caliper brake providing stopping power at the rear
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Early prototype of the Rennholz racer
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Early prototype of the Rennholz racer
The drive mechanism, steering and driving behavior of the vehicle on a test rig constructed from steel
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The drive mechanism, steering and driving behavior of the vehicle on a test rig constructed from steel
The gorgeous curves of the shaped and bent ply of the Rennholz trike
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The gorgeous curves of the shaped and bent ply of the Rennholz trike
The Rennholz trike took both the Jury and Public awards at the 2011 Cordless Screwdriver Race
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The Rennholz trike took both the Jury and Public awards at the 2011 Cordless Screwdriver Race
The Rennholz trike, designed and built by Jirka Wolff, Marcel Heise and Andreas Patsiaouras, with project support from Reiner Schneider
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The Rennholz trike, designed and built by Jirka Wolff, Marcel Heise and Andreas Patsiaouras, with project support from Reiner Schneider
The Rennholz trike managed to notch up the third-fastest round during qualifying and made it to the quarterfinals, but failed to secure a race win
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The Rennholz trike managed to notch up the third-fastest round during qualifying and made it to the quarterfinals, but failed to secure a race win
Rennholz features custom 16-inch rims at the front and a 20-inch rear wheel, all using Schwalbe Kojak tires, with a caliper brake providing stopping power at the rear
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Rennholz features custom 16-inch rims at the front and a 20-inch rear wheel, all using Schwalbe Kojak tires, with a caliper brake providing stopping power at the rear
The supplied Bosch PSR 18 LI-2 cordless drill/driver, used to power the Rennholz racer
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The supplied Bosch PSR 18 LI-2 cordless drill/driver, used to power the Rennholz racer
The team of HAWK University product design students, with the Rennholz trike at the 2011 Cordless Drill race
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The team of HAWK University product design students, with the Rennholz trike at the 2011 Cordless Drill race
The race runs for four laps around a flat oval course, with drivers being allowed brief stops in the pit zone during the race to swap out the drill's battery as necessary
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The race runs for four laps around a flat oval course, with drivers being allowed brief stops in the pit zone during the race to swap out the drill's battery as necessary
Rennholz team members Jirka Wolff, Marcel Heise and Andreas Patsiaouras
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Rennholz team members Jirka Wolff, Marcel Heise and Andreas Patsiaouras
The drive mechanism, steering and driving behavior of the vehicle on a test rig constructed from steel
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The drive mechanism, steering and driving behavior of the vehicle on a test rig constructed from steel
Shaping the plywood for the Rennholz trike
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Shaping the plywood for the Rennholz trike
View gallery - 13 images

The term "run" in the heading is perhaps a little generous, as the Rennholz trike can only actually go up to a top speed of 15 mph (24 km/h) for about ten minutes before needing a battery swap. Literally translated as Race Wood, it's by no means the only example of a drill-powered vehicle but the gorgeous curves of its shaped wood frame and familiar trike form factor make it much more of an eye-pleaser than, say, the University of Louisiana's Cajun Crawler. It was planned, designed and built by a team of product design students from HAWK University of Applied Sciences and Arts at Hildesheim in Germany for last year's Cordless Screwdriver Race and although it didn't actually win, the design did take both the Jury and Public awards at the race.

Team members Jirka Wolff, Marcel Heise and Andreas Patsiaouras, with project support from Reiner Schneider, spent ten weeks of the spring 2011 semester planning, designing and building Rennholz for the Akkuschraubenrennen – or Cordless Drill race – organized by HAWK University. After fine-tuning the drive mechanism, steering and driving behavior of the vehicle on a test rig constructed from steel, work began to bend and shape the trike's curvy plywood frame, with technical and material support provided by wood shaping specialists Becker Brakel.

The Rennholz trike managed to notch up the third-fastest round during qualifying and made it to the quarterfinals, but failed to secure a race win
The Rennholz trike managed to notch up the third-fastest round during qualifying and made it to the quarterfinals, but failed to secure a race win

Rennholz features custom 16-inch rims at the front and a 20-inch rear wheel, all using Schwalbe Kojak tires, with a caliper brake providing stopping power at the rear.

The rules of the race state that entries must only get their power from a supplied Bosch PSR 18 LI-2 cordless drill/driver, which in the case of Rennholz is connected to the rear wheel. The race runs for four laps around a flat oval course, with drivers being allowed brief stops in the pit zone during the race to swap out the drill's battery as necessary.

Wolff told us that the vehicle managed to notch up the third-fastest round during qualifying and made it to the quarterfinals, but failed to secure a race win.

The race runs for four laps around a flat oval course, with drivers being allowed brief stops in the pit zone during the race to swap out the drill's battery as necessary
The race runs for four laps around a flat oval course, with drivers being allowed brief stops in the pit zone during the race to swap out the drill's battery as necessary

There are currently no plans to develop Rennholz further, but the vehicle is making a few public showings in Germany, most recently a design fair in Leipzig called Designers' Open 2011.

Sources: Rennholz, HAWK University of Applied Sciences and Arts

View gallery - 13 images
2 comments
Gerard Meehan
Thats what I call style! Congratulations to the constructors and thankyou for the beautiful pictures - made me smile like a schoolboy again.
Paul Anthony
I appologize if I missed it in the text body, but how do you activate the motor?