Wheel Reinvented

Engine turns pedal and braked energy into extra help for cyclists.

It’s hard to reinvent the wheel, but the Superpedestrian startup came close. Created within Senseable City, a laboratory of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MIT, the Copenhagen Wheel is a bicycle engine, capable of accumulating energy with pedals and brakes and using it to help the cyclist.

The device is disc shaped and should be fastened in the center on the rear wheel. Inside goes a computer, a battery and a motor. “It’s totally controlled by your feet: when you pedal forward, the engine supplements your effort. When you pedal back, the engine starts to pick up electricity, “says Carlo Ratti, a professor at MIT and one of the creators of the bike. A program measures the effort of each pedaling and, if necessary, activates the engine for an additional boost on more difficult climbs. The principle is the same as the kineticenergy recovery system (Kers), a device used in Formula 1 that stores the energy of the brakes, using it later to increase acceleration.

The ebike can be connected via an on-board computer to an application on the smartphone that allows the bicycle to be locked or unlocked and also records data on the environment and even the amount of noise and carbon monoxide in the air. The software still points to better routes and the location of friends’ bikes that also own the device.Information can be shared publicly or stored anonymously in the city’s databases.

Superpedestrian, the company created to develop the device, announced in October that it had raised $ 2.1 million from the Spark Capital fund to develop the project, unveiled for the first time at the UN Conference on Climate Change in Copenhagen (henceforth). In Denmark in 2009. The company plans to start receiving orders later this year, but deliveries are only planned for 2014. Each model will cost $ 600.

Want to know about how to choose the bike light, click hetongdiy.com.

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