The alternative vehicle of the future may not be one of GM’s Jetsons-like urban vehicles or even an all-electric car like the Nissan Leaf, it may just end up being more similar to the Big Wheel of yesteryear than the sedan in the garage today. One of the ideas presented at last weekend’s Maker Faire event in Detroit is a four-seat, foot-powered bike (of sorts) known as the BigDog.

The BigDog quadricycle is the brainchild of Tom Wilson. Wilson was interviewed for MAKE magazine and he described the BigDog as:

“A wonderfully impractical assemblage of bicycle, go-cart, and golf-cart pieces and parts, drainage pipe, steel tubing, and patio chairs. This four-wheel vehicle allows four passengers to travel in minor discomfort at speeds approaching a brisk walk, for relatively short distances, on completely flat terrain.” Source: MAKE

While the BigDog may not be practical for commuting to work, it is definitely a fun way to get a cardio workout with three friends. Weighing in at 490 pounds, this cycle is big. The BigDog measures 11 feet 4 inches in length, 6 feet 4 inches in width, and has a height of 8 feet 6 inches. Wilson used a variety of products to craft the quadricycle including patio chairs, parts from garbage-picked bikes, golf cart spindles and rims, and go-cart brakes, axles and rear hubs.

Surprisingly, or not, this is not Wilson’s first quadricycle. The BigDog is actually similar to his other quad, the DogSled, which made an appearance at the famed Burning Man gathering. With the BigDog, Wilson aims to keep the strength of the DogSled but cut the weight in half. While the BigDog isn’t seen in every neighborhood around the country, innovative ideas like this will undoubtedly shape the transportation options of the future.

A grown-up version of the Big Wheel
If you thought the Big Wheel was cool, check out the BigDog, a four person quadricycle.