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Those Things Are Not "Pedals"


Biped Phil
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A pedal is a lever, according to Webster's:  "a lever, pressed by the foot" to "activate a mechanism".  Bicycles and organs have pedals.  So do traditional unicycles.  

But electric unicycles do not have pedals.  (1) Your foot does not pedal.  (2) Your foot activates nothing.  You just stand there and flounder with your arms.  I know this.

What then are the hinged flaps, upon which stands the pilot?  "Foot rest" is too casual, "platform" too expansive, "running board" too quaint.

Treads.  The unicycle's hinged pilot-support flaps are like the part of a stair upon which you stand, which is the tread.  Indeed, the electric unicycle is often likened to a one-step flying staircase.  

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Did you read the second definition of pedal?  100% counts.

 

ped·al1
/ˈpedl/
noun
 
  1. 1. 
    each of a pair of foot-operated levers used for powering a bicycle or other vehicle propelled by the legs.
  2. 2. 
    a foot-operated throttle, brake, or clutch control in a motor vehicle.
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15 hours ago, Biped Phil said:

A pedal is a lever, according to Webster's:  "a lever, pressed by the foot" to "activate a mechanism".  Bicycles and organs have pedals.  So do traditional unicycles.  

But electric unicycles do not have pedals.  (1) Your foot does not pedal.  (2) Your foot activates nothing.  You just stand there and flounder with your arms.  I know this.

I had exactly this same thought some time ago - but as @meepmeepmayer and @BarrettJ already wrote the feets are aplying the pressure to the front or back part of the pedals to accelerate or brake the wheel. (The "pedals" are fix mounted to the wheels body as the mainboard with the "gyro", which measures by this the pedal angle and in accordance to the angle controls the motor)

Just the arm floundering does nothing (but some bodily excercise) and goes away after gaining some driving experience :ph34r:

Edited by Chriull
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What a closed minded narrow view.

I guess there is only one definition to a car, board, plane or stupid.

"Lever that activates something?"

I dare you to take your foot off either one of those non-peddles at 20mph.

No... No they don't do anything. Nothing at all.

They dont move at all to maintain, turn left, turn right, accelerate or slow you down. Just duct tape everything together up to your knees.

Saw em both off. Just extra dead worthless weight. Who needs em.

Levers? Nonsence. They don't move. No leverage, no weight is ever shifted on them.

The body/shell doesn't move (it is lifeless after all) and the wheel doesn't rotate (its not on a car) either.

Maybe gettsya a tricycle. A Unicycle might be a bit too much for ya.

All them buttons and beeps and levers and all.....

Oh lighten up. Just having some sarcastic fun. ☺☺☺

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I did.

I just love me some good grammar nazi discussion (I mean that in the best sense of the word) and that was just unfriendly and shitting on that. Adding "sarcastic fun" to the end doesn't change that. Maybe it's an issue of conveying nuance over text (foreign language to me)?

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Just now, meepmeepmayer said:

I did.

I just love me some good grammar nazi discussion (I mean that in the best sense of the word) and that was just unfriendly and shitting on that. Adding "sarcastic fun" to the end doesn't change that. Maybe it's an issue of conveying nuance over text (foreign language to me)?

You're not wrong, it was written quite harshly.  Face to face with facial expression and personal relationships to assist it might have worked.  But quite harsh stranger to stranger, especially as it's not exactly politics or religion being discussed here

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I'd say there's a difference between smooth, subtle, friendly sarcasm and harsh, disrespectful banter. But that would be side-tracking one terminological discussion with another one :efee612b4b:

"Pedal" initially sounded a bit odd to me too, but when I thought about alternatives, I couldn't come up with anything that fit the definition better--and that was before I'd even considered how vital a role they play. In any case, that's the way language evolves (even in cases where the definition doesn't make sense): someone coins a term, it spreads, becomes popular, and eventually becomes the norm (and in this case, it fits perfectly AND is "the norm").

Everyone's free to swim upstream (I still refuse to use certain buzzwords, out of self-respect  :efee612b4b:), but you can't change a term whose use has become widespread...You can give it a try all the same, @Biped Phil, just take into account that every time you write about treads ("KS's new extra-large treads are great!"), the intent and content of your posts might get lost amidst a sea of "WTFs" and :confused1: 

If I were to suggest an alternative term, it would probably be foot plates (specific because of the word foot, but vague enough not to rule out the function). Foot rests fails to capture their function, and treads feels too vague. What I have no doubt about, though, is that if I ever find myself in an aristocratic mood and choose to match my one-wheeled PEV with a monocle, top-hat and pipe, I'll most certainly be calling them treadles. :D

But for normal circumstances, "pedals" works for me, and seems to be the best fit, both in form and function; It's one word, sounds familiar & natural (treads, platforms, plates, etc. all sound a bit forced), and is the only term among the ones proposed that actually captures their function as well. Plus, it's the easiest option (less work than trying to change the entire community's lexicon), and God knows I'm lazy...  :efee612b4b:

Edited by travsformation
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Oh, let's not saw them off!  But indispensability does not make something a pedal.  If they came and took away the floor from underneath me right now, I would suffer a calamity, but the floor is not a pedal.

Likewise, the presence of a sensor somewhere does not make things pedals.  Consider escalators that do not move until someone steps on.  Perhaps the relevant sensor is under the stair tread, or the foot-plate that precedes it.  Even so, it does not seem to be a pedal.

Even the pedals of an automobile do not correspond to the footplates of an electric unicycle.  The EUC pilot shifts his or her center of gravity, a change that is involuntarily communicated through the feet on the footplates.  In contrast, the automobile driver selectively moves only the feet.

Unifying those 3 examples is the observation that "pedals" are not weight-bearing.

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10 hours ago, Biped Phil said:

But indispensability does not make something a pedal.  If they came and took away the floor from underneath me right now, I would suffer a calamity, but the floor is not a pedal.

That argument can be applied to anything. The indispensability of a compressor in a fridge isn't what makes it a compressor by definition. Same would go for a resistance in a light bulb or the magnet in a speaker. All three items are an indispensable part of the device they're a component of, but the term we use to refer to them, as well as their definition, isn't based on their indispensability, but on their specific characteristics and function.

Regardless, whether you're on a bicycle, in a car or on an EUC, if your feet aren't touching a/the pedal(s), you aren't activating squat. :D

10 hours ago, Biped Phil said:

Likewise, the presence of a sensor somewhere does not make things pedals.  Consider escalators that do not move until someone steps on.  Perhaps the relevant sensor is under the stair tread, or the foot-plate that precedes it.  Even so, it does not seem to be a pedal.

I agree that it doesn't make an escalator a pedal, but I don't think an escalator is a comparable example: firstly, because the motion sensor is not on the tread itself, but built into the "rail". There's a more direct connection between an EUC's pedals and the sensor: it involves direct (and directional) input, as opposed to a simple motion detector that could be mounted 20 feet from the escalator (so it switches on when you enter the lobby, for instance), whereas the sensor on an EUC has to be on the EUC. Secondly,  a motion sensor doesn't actually control the escalator's movement in a meaningful way: it merely acts as a relay that switches on a timer, which controls how long the motor stays on. The function the pedals serve on an EUC is much more complex: they control forward and backward motion, and are sensitive (or rather the sensor is) to small variations in pressure, allowing for precise throttle and braking control. That fits the definition of "foot-operated throttle, brake, or clutch control in a motor vehicle" perfectly.

10 hours ago, Biped Phil said:

Even the pedals of an automobile do not correspond to the footplates of an electric unicycle.  The EUC pilot shifts his or her center of gravity, a change that is involuntarily communicated through the feet on the footplates.  In contrast, the automobile driver selectively moves only the feet.

Unifying those 3 examples is the observation that "pedals" are not weight-bearing.

I'm going to have to disagree with the "involuntary communication" part of your argument. In my case, at least, the input I transmit to the sensor (via the pedals) is quite voluntary  :P :efefa6edcf:

But back to the terminological discussion, I have a feeling you're trying to adhere to a strict definition that doesn't take into account the innovative and unique aspect of an EUC. Think of it this way: the first type of pedal ever put into use was the treadle, (from Old English: tredan, "to tread"), which is a "pedal or lever operated by the foot for circular drive", first implemented in potters' wheels and later in sewing machines. Treadle is now considered archaic, so such mechanisms are commonly referred to as pedals. Yet the term "pedal" was also used for pianos, later bicycles, and eventually, cars. The nature of these mechanisms differs considerably, but we humans tend to look into our existing lexicon first before going to the trouble of coining a new term, and accept new usages as part of the linguistic evolution that occurs alongside human progress (if you could ask a Greek from the 5th century BCE what a "hard disk" is, he'd probably refer you to the Discobolus). Consider the differences between how a piano pedal interacts with the strings, bicycle pedals interact with the drivetrain of the bike or an accelerator pedal in a car interacts with the car engine. 

The same would go for the pedals on a Tesla. No one is arguing that they should no longer be called pedals because of the fact the input they provide is managed electronically as opposed to mechanically. Language (or rather its users) allows for adaptability. What we now refer to as the pedal of a sewing machine or a bicycle was originally, by definition, only something that turned a "reciprocating motion into a circular motion".  Yet despite the fact it didn't fit the definition perfectly, we accepted its usage for automobiles and adapted the definition because it was the best match. Why should it be any different with EUCs? Nothing similar had ever existed until they were invented: two foot-sized platforms that one stands on, which transmit our forward/backward leaning motion to a sensor that, in turn controls a motor. In the absence of a new term (gyro-foot-platform?), "pedal" is the closest match (Why don't we say "car foot levers", for instance?).

Sidenote: The definition of pedals mentions nothing about weight-bearing. But anyone who rides a mountain bike or doesn't risk getting his nuts crushed when going over a large pothole or speedbump will surely tell you that pedals can indeed be weight-bearing. :efee612b4b:

To cut my rant short, and since my argument is based on the evolution of the term "pedal", the simplest option is to go back to its etymological origin: the Latin pedale, meaning "thing of the foot". I'm sure we can all agree on that one, can't we? :efee612b4b:

 

Edited by travsformation
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1 hour ago, travsformation said:

To cut my rant short, and since my argument is based on the evolution of the term "pedal", the simplest option is to go back to its etymological origin: the Latin pedale, meaning "thing of the foot". I'm sure we can all agree on that one, can't we? :efee612b4b:

That's the kind of grammar-naziing that I can get behind:thumbup: Wonderful.

@Biped Phil Maybe we should just invent a new term for EUC pedals/treads. That would solve everything. Something cool sounding. Maybe "speed plates"? Acceleration plates? Backe metal?

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I'm glad this this discussion was had actually, I sometimes wondered whether pedals was the right word; now I know exactly how that term can be justified to new riders, particularly those who see wheels more as bicycles than as cars. 

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@travsformation that was an extremely well thought out, and researched statement.  Next time I put my feet on  my "things of the foot" I'll be thinking of you. ;)

PS. I wanted to say some of that myself but I just couldn't be assed to get deeper into yet another circular and ultimately pointless argument with a pedant.  If Bipedal Phil wants to call his pedals rocket shoes, or what ever, that's up to him.

Edited by Smoother
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@meepmeepmayer & @Smoother I work as a translator, so this kind of research is part of my daily routine. As part of the job, I also have to defend my choice of words almost on a daily basis against pedantic proofreaders, and thus, spend way more time than I'd like to in language forums. You've got to a keep a sense of levity in those places...people get so worked up about lexical discussions you'd think you told them you just f*cked their mom :efee612b4b:

do enjoy the occasional grammar nazi argument, just for the entertainment value and intellectual stimulus, but don't see much of a point unless there's a healthy dose of humour involved. Otherwise, as you pointed out, @Smoother, it gets old pretty fast. I honestly don't care what anyone wants to call the things of the foot, whether it's treads, acceleration plates or Backe metal (nice one!)...but when I started pondering the subject...you know how it goes....curiosity killed the cat  :efeec46606:

But as you both suggested, everyone's free to call anything whatever they want. You can coin your own terms, seek closer equivalents in other languages (including Elvish, Klingon or Dothraki), or even invent your own words and/or language. ;) 

I'm going to start privately calling them either Gyro-Inclination-Metal-Plates (GIMPs, for short) or Foot-Unicycle-Controller-Kickups (What would the acronym be there?), but in the forum, I'll continue to refer to them as pedals to prevent misunderstandings ("The F.U.C.Ks on the 18XL are extremely comfortable! I can ride for hours without getting sore") :efee612b4b:

P.S. No offence meant to the OP, but "Bipedal Phil"...that had me laughing out loud, @Smoother !

Edited by travsformation
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2 hours ago, travsformation said:

I'm going to start privately calling them either Gyro-Inclination-Metal-Plates (GIMPs, for short) or Foot-Unicycle-Controller-Kickups (What would the acronym be there?), but in the forum, I'll continue to refer to them as pedals to prevent misunderstandings ("The F.U.C.Ks on the 18XL are extremely comfortable! I can ride for hours without getting sore") :efee612b4b:

I hear you brother. Personally I love the  extra long F.U.C.Ks, I did to myself. No, wait, that came out wrong. :facepalm:

Edited by Smoother
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4 minutes ago, Smoother said:

I hear you brother. Personally I love the  F.U.C.Ks, I did to myself. No, wait, that came out wrong. :facepalm:

:efee612b4b: :efee612b4b::efee612b4b: 

As far as I'm concerned, one can ride the F.U.C.Ks alone or share their F.U.C.Ks with someone else, especially if you're using extra-comfy, tightly fitting Pedal-Unicycle-Support-System-Yielders... :efee612b4b:

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I'm in the "pedal" group. It is a control mechanism...probably more so than bicycle pedals.

And, @Mono I think that's the next evolution of this transportation. Nice vid. If we can get auto balance on our EUC's, all we have to do is move forward and backward. Then, we can have safer 50mph EUC's! I like it. I imagine the mechanism will need to be more hefty to auto balance people.

 

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4 minutes ago, travsformation said:

:efee612b4b: :efee612b4b::efee612b4b: 

As far as I'm concerned, one can ride the F.U.C.Ks alone or share their F.U.C.Ks with someone else, especially if you're using extra-comfy, tightly fitting Pedal-Unicycle-Support-System-Yielders... :efee612b4b:

Personally I like loose, roomy Pedal-Unicycle-Support-System-Yielders.  But I'm weird like that.:rolleyes:

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