Todd Reichert, Founder
(PhD, Aerospace Engineering, U of T)
Todd is the muscle behind Aerovelo's human-powered vehicles. He is driven by a desire to tackle problems that are out of the ordinary and is fearless in his pursuit of breaking engineering and physical boundaries. Taking up speed-skating in 2010, Todd rose to national competition level within a year. Aerovelo has challenged him to take his athleticism to another level. With an output of 1 horsepower over 1 minute, Todd's legs have powered the flights of the world's first human-powered ornithopter (Snowbird) in 2010, and then clinched the Sikorsky Prize in 2013 by powering the helicopter Atlas. Todd is currently ranked as the world’s 7th fastest human in eta (77.68 mph at Battle Mountain in 2013). Earning his PhD in Aerospace Engineering at the University of Toronto, Todd’s specialty also lies in the aerodynamic design of both aircraft and streamlined land-vehicles, with a specific interest in blending the functional and the beautiful.
Cameron Robertson, Founder
(MASc, PEng, Aerospace Engineering Graduate, U of T)
Cameron is passionate about inspiring public interest in science, technology, and environmentally-conscious engineering. Aerovelo’s projects are an exciting platform for this outreach and an engaging challenge requiring innovation and creativity. Cameron graduated University of Toronto Engineering Science (Aerospace) in 2008, and graduated his MASc from U of T Institute for Aerospace Studies in 2009. His expertise includes structural design and optimization, advanced composite materials, and material selection for lightweight aerostructures. In addition to eta, Snowbird, Atlas, and ongoing work in speedbikes, he spent 2 years in industry developing small unmanned aircraft systems. Cameron enjoys rock climbing, squash, and sailing in his free time.
What We Do
What We Do
Our current focus is on using speed-bikes to break the world human-powered land-speed record. In Sept 2015 we will travel to Battle Mountain Nevada to try to break the world record of 133.5kph. To do this we have designed and built a custom, one of a kind speed-bike, "eta". We believe eta is capable of speeds of 140km/hr. Learn more about our speed bikes project here.
On June 13, 2013, AeroVelo’s Atlas human‐powered helicopter won the AHS Igor I. Sikorsky Challenge and its $250,000 prize. During the record-breaking 64 second flight, Atlas reached a height of 3.3 metres, meeting all requirements of the 33 year old aviation challenge.
Our projects are supported by the generous donations and support of our partners and sponsors, and by many passionate and interested individuals who have contributed to our kickstarter campaign, or volunteer directly on a project. If you are interested in becoming a part of the Aerovelo team, or want to support one of our projects, please contact us.
Reichert and Robertson spend their time pushing the limits of human potential. Innovation, Inspiration, and Pioneering new ways of approaching a problem is what defines Aerovelo. Their projects have taken them from human-powered helicopters to aerodynamic bicycles capable of reaching speeds of over 140km/hr. Driven by passion to change the future, and fearless in their approach to seemingly impossible engineering challenges, their journey has led them to a unique understanding of what it takes to tackle the impossible. They now share the story of this journey, and the lessons they've learned with audiences around the world.
Aerovelo started with the dream to achieve one of humanity's earliest aeronautical goals - to fly like a bird under our own power. Everyone assumed that this dream was impossible, but Todd & Cameron were energized by the problem. Their key realization was to understand that to call something impossible means we have to adopt all of the assumptions and constraints of the framework that says it's impossible. "Impossible" is not a standalone concept. Once they realized that they could think about the problem using a different framework, they had a way to solve it. Todd & Cameron and their team went on to invent "Snowbird", the world's first human powered ornithopter to achieve sustained flight.
Todd and Cameron's talks centre on the common themes of "Do more with Less" and making the impossible possible.
The Aerovelo story includes lessons on rethinking old problems, and how failure is a critical part of the process. We've all heard that failure is a part of success, but that's an incomplete picture. The real lesson is to not be afraid to fail often - and early, but the cost of failure become exponentially greater the further into an innovative process you go. We think it's good to have a healthy fear of failing later in the process.
Red 7 Media Marketing Summit, San Francisco, USA, May 13, 2015
Factory of Imagination, Odense, Denmark, May 18, 2015
Innotown, Alesund, Norway, May 20, 2015
Google Sci Foo Camp, San Francisco, USA, August 2014
NASA Ames, San Francisco, USA, January, 2014
AHS Aeromechanics Conference, San Francisco, USA, 2014
Innovator, Abu Dabi, UAE, March 2014
Ingredients of Innovation, TEDx WesternU, April 2013
Challenging the Impossible, PopTech, Camden Maine, October 2013
Challenge Drives Discovery, TEDx Youth Toronto, November 2013
Challenging the Impossible, Zurich Minds, Zurich, Switzerland, December 2013
Doing More with Less (Technical Lecture), University of Michigan, October 2013
Todd and Cameron are represented by the Brightsight Group speaking agency. For booking inquiries please contact: