May 12, 2010

Reinventing the Wheel

Photo courtesy of Max Tomasinelli
As reported here at ecocity back in December at the COP15, MIT's 'SENSEABLE City Lab' launched the revolutionary 'Copenhagen Wheel', a simple, low-cost bicycle wheel that can convert any bicycle into an e-bike. Our friends over at's Urban Mobility channel have recently created a great litle video about this ground breaking innovation, interviewing some of the designers involved.

This video not only gives us a peek at how exactly the bike works mechanically but also it's smart technology that works with a smart phone to provide climate and health data. The Copenhagen bike records data such as the quality of air, road conditions, noise, ambient temperatures and relative temperature. The data is collected by sensors on the bike and can be shared by multiple users to create new city maps which allows city administrators to carry out detailed analysis on urban environment issues such as the heat island effect.

MIT are currently working on a design for the wheel that can be fitted onto any bike and it is due to hit the shelves next year, and believe it or not, for a very reasonable cost of about $500.

Photo courtesy of Max Tomasinelli
original video via