Friday, March 2, 2007

Human powered gyms?

A very cute article about various ways different companies are trying to harness human power, via exercise equipment, dancing, or walking.

"California Fitness...owned by ... 24 Hour Fitness Worldwide, agreed to cover the cost of materials, which ultimately came to about $15,000....Those [elliptical and stairmaster] machines already contained small motion-powered generators used to light up their display screens. But the generators were producing significantly more electricity than was needed to power the screen, and the excess energy was being thrown off as heat.
Mr. Gambarota rewired the generators in 13 machines on the gym's main floor to capture the excess energy, running wires underneath the carpets to a car battery that could store the power. The battery was hooked up to an inverter taken from a mobile home. It converted the voltage from DC to AC and was connected to 13 fluorescent lights hanging above the exercise machines.
The company's U.S. parent is watching the Hong Kong experiment closely and says it would consider a global rollout if the Hong Kong project is successful. The company has three million members and close to 400 gyms in the U.S."

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