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The Senseable City Lab, MIT, smart wheels designed for bikes that capture and accumulate the kinetic energy generated by the brakes
Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) SENSEable City Laboratory, has designed a wheel that captures the kinetic energy generated when a rider brakes and builds up to the moment where he might need an extra boost. With this power, the system carries a battery installed in the central hub of the wheel, turning a normal bike into an electric hybrid.
The new wheel uses a kinetic energy recovery, the same technology used in hybrid cars like the Toyota Prius, in order to collect energy that would otherwise be wasted. The system can be installed on the rear wheel of any existing bike, and includes sensors for monitoring air quality, a system of registration of mileage, and a GPS navigation unit to record routes. All these data can be sent via Bluetooth to the smartphone of a cyclist and also distributed to other interested parties.
The basic bike is a concept very difficult to overcome, said Steve Hed, designer wheels for bicycles and owner of Hed Cycling Products, the company that created special wheels for cycling superstars like Lance Armstrong. But as said Carlo Ratti, director of the laboratory, which your laboratory is developing, is the "Cycling 2.0". Now cycling can become even more effective than it has been over time.