Live Green and Earn Points
Copenhagen Wheel Makes Your Bike Electric, Talks to Your iPhone
Written by Recyclebank . Oct 24, 2012
The Copenhagen Wheel--developed by MIT researchers--is a new bicycle wheel that not only makes your conventional bike electric but it can keep track of friends, smog and traffic all while talking to your iPhone.
It might look like a regular bike wheel but it is far from it. The Copenhagen Wheel--developed by MIT researchers--is a new bicycle wheel that not only makes your conventional bike electric but it can keep track of friends, smog and traffic all while talking to your iPhone.
In order to promote cycling, the wheel extends the cycling experience for those who, well…don't like to cycle.
The electric motor helps the un-cyclist traverse steep inclines and provides an extra burst of speed when needed. The wheel uses regenerative braking, such that every time a rider puts on the breaks, the wheel stores that energy. All of which is housed in the hub of the wheel, which can connect to any standard rim.
Using a series of sensors and a Bluetooth connection, the wheel can communicate with your iPhone. It can provide detailed information on the bicycle's speed, direction and distance traveled. It can also report on air pollution. Like other geo-enhanced products, you can create a network of friends and stalk them using the device.
The Copenhagen Wheel was developed by Carlo Ratti, associate professor of the practice in MIT’s Department of Urban Studies and Planning (DUSP) and director of the SENSEable City Laboratory, and his team. “Everything is controlled by your feet,” Ratti explains. Pedal backwards to engage the regenerative breaking or quickly pedal for assisted cycling. The design is simple with no pesky switches or dials.
"One of the applications that we have discussed with the City of Copenhagen is that of an incentive scheme whereby citizens collect Green Miles — something similar to frequent flyer miles, but good for the environment," says Christine Outram, who led the team of MIT researchers.
Along with smog, the sensors can also monitor levels of carbon monoxide, nitrous oxides, temperature, humidity and noise. Data that could be valuable to both scientists and the local government. More importantly, if your bike gets jacked, you can track it. Something quite important in an urban environment.