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The Copenhagen Wheel

August 10, 2010
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If  you felt Copenhagen was a failure (I don’t, but many do!), check this out. It’s bound to make you feel better than Copenhagen left you feeling 🙂

The Copenhagen Wheel turns the bike you already own, quickly and easily into an electric bike with regeneration and real-time environmental sensing capabilities.

The wheel harvests the energy you input while braking and cycling and stores it for when you need a bit of a boost. At the same time, sensors in the wheel are collecting information about air and noise pollution, congestion and road conditions.

The Copenhagen Wheel differs from other electric bikes in that all components are elegantly packaged into one hub. There is no external wiring or bulky battery packs, making it retrofittable into any bike. Inside the hub, we have arranged a motor, 3-speed internal hub gear, batteries, a torque sensor, GPRS and a sensor kit that monitors CO, NOx, noise (db), relative humidity and temperature. In the future, you will be able to spec out your wheel according to your riding habits and needs.

Watch this video!
The Copenhagen Wheel

Article written by Ariel Schwartz for Inhabitat. Full article here.

The KERS system is activated when the user brakes. Energy from the braking action is stored in the wheel, where it can be recovered by an electric motor for later use. The wheel’s onboard sensors monitor bike speed, distance traveled, direction, pollution levels, and proximity of friends on the road. All info collected by the sensors is sent via Bluetooth to the rider’s iPhone, which can be mounted on the handlebars for easy access.

Worried about using such a high-tech wheel in theft-prone cities? The Copenhagen Wheel’s smart lock sends a text message to users if someone tries to steal the bike, greatly decreasing the likelihood of a successful theft.

The wheel is expected to go into production next year at a price comparable to that of standard electric bikes. The city of Copenhagen might even use bikes retrofitted with the wheel as a substitute for city employee cars — a lofty goal, but one that could help Copenhagen become the world’s first carbon-neutral capital city by 2025.

For more information visit http://senseable.mit.edu/copenhagenwheel/index.html

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