One-fourth of kids worldwide do not have access to electricity. Most of these kids, however, love to play soccer. Four Harvard students have used this information to create a product that can complement each other. These students have created a soccer ball that captures energy from kicking, dribbling and throwing a soccer ball. The energy captured can be used later to power up electric or electronic devices. Kids can play soccer, then bring the ball home and charge a LED lamp, cell phone or battery.
Soccer is the world’s most popular sports and popular even in the remote regions of the world. However, electricity still haven’t reached to a major population. Four students – Jessica Lin, Jessica Matthews, Julia Silverman and Hemali Thakkar – from Harvard University decided to use soccer to solve the problem of electricity. They have made a soccer ball that can produce electricity.
Jessica Lin said, “Soccer is something you will find in every African country. People play for hours a day, so we thought, ‘Why not try to get a little more out of that energy?’ and that’s where the idea ultimately came from”.
The name of this soccer ball is SOCCKET. This power-generating soccer ball weighs just a bit more than a regular 16-oz soccer ball (5-oz more) and it is a prototype soccer ball that captures kinetic energy through an inductive coil when it is kicked or thrown. There’s a gyroscopic mechanism inside the SOCCKET which captures the energy of motion and converts it into electricity. As the ball is kicked around, a magnet is drawn through a coil which creates a current that is then stored on a battery. The captured kinetic energy can charge mobile devices by shaking. Just fifteen minutes of play powers a light for up to three hours.
“We’re currently in the prototyping stages, but this past summer we piloted a youth program in several areas of Durban, South Africa, and we just recently completed a study of soccer play in households in Nairobi, Kenya. We also eventually plan to develop a high-end sOccket for purchase in the US and Europe”, the team mentions in the project website,
Currently, SOCCKET is still in prototype. The team hopes to have a completed version that can be distributed by the end of 2010. The SOCCKET team is trying to make it more lighter. Have a look of the video below to know more about SOCCKET.
To express your support for the project go to Unchartedplay.