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China’s ‘Useless Edison’ invents weightless centrifugal car so he can feel like he is in space while driving, but vomits on test drive

South China Morning Post logo South China Morning Post 13/5/2022 Yingjie Wang
  • Geng Shuai has long been known in mainland China as 'Useless Edison' for his novel but impractical inventions
  • Geng's most famous invention is a barbecue piano car, which allows a person to play the piano and roast meat while driving

A 33-year-old man in China has built a weightless centrifugal car with a round tube-like body that can rotate while driving to realise his dream of feeling weightless as though he is in space.

The inventor, Geng Shuai, of Baoding in northern China's Hebei province, has long been known in mainland China as "Useless Edison" for his novel but impractical inventions. Geng has over 65 million followers on Douyin, China's TikTok.

One of Geng's most famous inventions is a barbecue piano car, which allows a person to play the piano and roast meat on an attached stove while driving.

When asked why he created the weightless car, Geng said it was a long-held dream of his.

One of Geng's most famous inventions is a barbecue piano car, which allows a person to play the piano and roast meat on an attached stove while driving: Photo: Douyin © Provided by South China Morning Post One of Geng's most famous inventions is a barbecue piano car, which allows a person to play the piano and roast meat on an attached stove while driving: Photo: Douyin

"I've always wanted to go to space to experience the feeling of weightlessness and rotation, but I haven't been able to realise my dream," Geng said in a Douyin video.

Geng said he had the idea to build a weightless car with a similar rotating tank and a fixed driver seat after seeing a cement mixer truck on the road.

"If I change the design of the truck and strap a person to the driver's seat, I should be able to recreate the sensation of weightlessness," he explained.

With years of experience as a welder, Geng said he constructed the car in a few days and took a test drive at a nearby driving school.

While Geng, as shown in the video, was initially hesitant in the test drive, but after some adjustments, he soon got the hang of it.

"This unparalleled driving experience is both thrilling and refreshing," Geng said. "It's as if I've already had that weightless spinning sensation of being in space."

However, after a few laps, Geng got motion sickness and began to vomit.

"The car is still being built and is quite successful, but perhaps my physical condition isn't up to driving it," Geng joked at the end of the video. "It appears that I am not cut out to be an astronaut."

The car, according to Geng, is also designed to be driven without the body rotating.

Many people found his video to be both entertaining and inspiring.

Many who saw the video found the car to be a source of delight and inspiration. Photo: Douyin © Provided by South China Morning Post Many who saw the video found the car to be a source of delight and inspiration. Photo: Douyin

"The fuel consumption for driving this car for 100 kilometres is equivalent to the price of five meals," one person joked.

"While I thought the barbecue piano car was a perfect combination of artistic elegance and real-world vulgarity, I did not expect the weightless centrifugal car once again to be an excellent blend of science fiction dream and reality," said another.

This article originally appeared on the South China Morning Post (www.scmp.com), the leading news media reporting on China and Asia.

Copyright (c) 2022. South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved.

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