Video: MIT SENSEable City Lab team unveils Copenhagen Wheel

December 16, 2009

Researchers unveil ‘new emblem for urban mobility’: a hub that transforms the ordinary bicycle into a high-tech hybrid e-bike.

MIT SENSEable City Lab researchers have today unveiled the Copenhagen Wheel at the COP15 United Nations Climate Conference.


Researchers describe the wheel as a “new emblem for urban mobility, [transforming] ordinary bicycles into hybrid e-bikes that also function as mobile sensing units”. The hub stores information about the rider and their surroundings, providing real-time feedback via Bluetooth to your phone.

The wheel stores information as you cycle, recording road conditions, carbon monoxide levels, noise, temperature and humidity levels, as well as information about your own effort levels. At the same time, it captures the energy produced through cycling and braking, storing it for an energy boost when you need it.

The data collected by the Copenhagen Wheel can be used to monitor your cycling habits, but the researchers also envisage a data sharing scheme, collating information harvested around a city to gain “a new scale of fine-grained environmental information”, with the potential to influence the way cities allocate resources in the future.

Photos: Max Tomasinelli

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