Introducing the Copenhagen Wheel

To coincide with the COP 15 Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, M.I.T. students have introduced the new Copenhagen Wheel.

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Copenhagen Wheel

The wheel has built in Bluetooth capability and a form of the Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS) used in F1 racing, which stores kinetic energy gained from braking for a later burst of speed.

The makers of the Copenhagen Wheel from M.I.T.’s SENSEable City Laboratory claim that the new features mark the advent of “Biking 2.0,” a new era based on smarter bikes and easier rides (and red frisbees stuck in your rear wheel).

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Wheels in motion

The wheel includes sensors for detecting distance, speed, direction, all of which are beamed via Bluetooth to the rider’s iPhone. The wheel also includes a built-in lock that sends the rider a text if tampered with.

But the most notable feature of the Copenhagen Wheel is its KERS or Kinetic Energy Recovery System, a mechanism by which energy from braking is stored up for later use, giving the rider a boost when going up a hill or speeding through traffic. Some bicycle purists have already dismissed the wheel as a novelty while others suggest that M.I.T. has succeeded in reinventing the wheel.

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