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Old 12-18-2013, 11:26 AM
 
Location: Volcano
12,971 posts, read 23,607,793 times
Reputation: 10575

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To me the real story here is that this device could transform bike riding. Having a boost ready and available for "the hills" would be enough to interest a lot of people I know who have bikes in the garage that they rarely ride, simply because some part of their ride to the supermarket, or the post office or wherever, is just a little too hard.

And for anyone with joint issues, this could be a godsend... just a little help when you need it!

Quote:
MIT lab's Copenhagen Wheel transforms bicycles into electric-hybrids

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - A Massachusetts startup is launching a new device that transforms almost any bicycle into an electric-hybrid vehicle using an app on a smartphone.

The device, called the Copenhagen Wheel, is installed as part of a rear hub of a bike wheel and is packed with a proprietary computer, batteries and sensors that monitor how hard a rider is pedaling and activate an onboard motor whenever support is needed. The device uses wireless connectivity to communicate with the biker's smartphone to track distance traveled and elevation gained, share with friends the number of calories burned and lock the wheel remotely as soon as the owner walks away from the bike.

"The motor integrates itself with the rider's motion very, very seamlessly," said Assaf Biderman, who co-invented the device at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's SENSEable City Lab, where he is associate director. "It's almost like having a riding companion riding together with you, making the ride easier, simpler."

MIT lab's Copenhagen Wheel transforms bicycles into electric-hybrids
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Old 12-18-2013, 08:17 PM
 
39,450 posts, read 40,753,065 times
Reputation: 16248
Motors and generators on bikes are nothing new and honestly what should be a simple design is now over complicated. Don't get me wrong, I love tech but I also love simple mechanical designs that just work. When you going to apply new technology to a design you shouldn't be thinking if you can apply new technology but if you should apply new technology.
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Old 12-18-2013, 09:10 PM
 
Location: Volcano
12,971 posts, read 23,607,793 times
Reputation: 10575
Quote:
Originally Posted by thecoalman View Post
Motors and generators on bikes are nothing new and honestly what should be a simple design is now over complicated. Don't get me wrong, I love tech but I also love simple mechanical designs that just work. When you going to apply new technology to a design you shouldn't be thinking if you can apply new technology but if you should apply new technology.
I'm not sure what your point is. Ultimately the technology that works is the one that people choose to use. Mechanical simplicity and engineering elegance is one thing, but inspiration is sometimes something else.
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Old 12-19-2013, 06:51 PM
 
7,281 posts, read 8,868,414 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OpenD View Post
I'm not sure what your point is. Ultimately the technology that works is the one that people choose to use. Mechanical simplicity and engineering elegance is one thing, but inspiration is sometimes something else.
Inspiration abounds everywhere, reality and practical use does not.

Inspiration is one thing, most often though, it is the reinvention of the simple into the complex.
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Old 12-19-2013, 07:34 PM
 
Location: Volcano
12,971 posts, read 23,607,793 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mack Knife View Post
Inspiration abounds everywhere, reality and practical use does not.
Exactly, so often the more technically sophisticated fails in the face of the "easier to use."

Quote:
Inspiration is one thing, most often though, it is the reinvention of the simple into the complex.
I don't know about that, but I do know that usability is the key. The Copenhagen Wheel is extremely sophisticated technically, but from the user's standpoint it is extremely easy to use. The old rear wheel is taken off the bike, and replaced by a simple drop-in of the new wheel. Then a smartphone app is downloaded to control the wheel. Then you go ride. Couldn't get much easier.
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Old 12-23-2013, 01:26 PM
 
4,718 posts, read 8,961,353 times
Reputation: 2153
Neat idea... Would be interesting if you could program the speed limiter out and hit that 35 MPH.
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Old 12-23-2013, 04:32 PM
 
39,450 posts, read 40,753,065 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dakster View Post
Neat idea... Would be interesting if you could program the speed limiter out and hit that 35 MPH.
I'm sure the way to "unlock" it will somehow manage to get into the hands of the techies. They didn't mention that capability by accident.
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Old 12-24-2013, 09:04 AM
 
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
10,511 posts, read 8,753,773 times
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Why is it called the "Copenhagen" wheel. Except for the people who deliver the mail to residences, I haven't seen any such units in Copenhagen.
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Old 12-24-2013, 11:28 AM
 
Location: Volcano
12,971 posts, read 23,607,793 times
Reputation: 10575
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frihed89 View Post
Why is it called the "Copenhagen" wheel. Except for the people who deliver the mail to residences, I haven't seen any such units in Copenhagen.
If you check the Copenhagen Wheel website, you'll find the answer...

Quote:
The Copenhagen Wheel was unveiled on December 15, 2009 at the COP15 United Nations Climate Conference. The project was conceived and developed by the SENSEable City Lab for the Kobenhavns Kommune. The prototype bikes were realizedwith the help of our technical partner Ducati Energia and funding from the Ministry for the Environment.

copenhagen wheel project
MIT assisted in getting the Copenhagen Wheel from the prototype stage to a full production model.
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Old 12-24-2013, 11:54 AM
 
4,718 posts, read 8,961,353 times
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I thought you were supposed to chew tobacco while riding it....

(sarcasm)
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