Dec 03, 2013 03:19 PM EST
$699 Copenhagen Wheel From MIT Lab Converts Your Huffy Into An E-Bike (VIDEO)
The Copenhagen Wheel is not your typical hybrid, combining human stamina and electrical power to boost your bike-riding experience, though it is designed like one. When you brake, the back wheel converts that motion into electricity, which is stored and used when necessary down the road (or, more likely, up the road). The same basic principle is behind hybrid cars, Fox News reported.
"What it lets you do is not waste energy," Assaf Biderman, founder of Superpedestrian, which designed the wheel. "Usually when you brake, you waste it into heat. This gives it back to you so you can get a push."
Still, the bike requires a four hour charge to work for a maximum of 30 miles; beyond that and you're on your own through the mountains, according to Superpedestrain.com.
You can't hit a gas pedal or rev the handle for more juice; that privilege is decided automatically by the wheel. If you're traveling uphill, you'll receive a user-specific boost based off previous speeds (so you'll able to ride as if you were on flat terrain). Want more exercise and less help? You can simply adjust the level of assist. The bike maxes out at 20 mph.
Designed at MIT's SENSEable City Lab, the Copenhagen Wheel is just that, a wheel. The $699 (available today) appendage attaches to mostly every bike. Soon, developers will sell the wheel already attached to a bike, according to their website.
Once you've mastered the basic engineering of the wheel, you should explore its many apps. By connecting it with your smartphone, you'll be informed of pollution levels, carbon monoxide readings, traffic reports, road conditions of individual sections of the neighborhood in which you book - all in real time, according to MIT.edu.
"Effectively, the Copenhagen Wheel puts your bike online - at the center of your personal Internet of Things," said Carlo Ratti, co-inventor of the Copenhagen Wheel and director of the MIT Senseable City Lab.
Fans of Weeds already know about the Copenhagen Wheel, which displayed the bike for a full season, according to FOX. Now, it's finally available to the public.
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