For our Kinetic Energy assignment for the Energy class, I partnered up with Arnav. We came up with a few concepts for how to turn human motion into light.
Hand-Cranked Music Box
The first thing we explored was turning a hand-crank music box into a music box that emits light.
We would connect a motor to the end of the crank shaft and have that generate electricity.
Weelchair Powered Light
We explored using the wheelchair on the ITP floor for kinetic energy - it could work in one of two ways.
When the user pushes the handicap wheel to pull forward, it would face resistance from a dc gear motor attached via a belt, which would generate electricity.
Or, when the user pulls the break pedal, it would move a gear motor attached to a rubber wheel down to have the rubber wheel touching the wheel of the chair, the resistance causing it to break and generating electricity.
Our final idea came from something Arnav saw in India, where someone spins a weighted ball attached to a rope around in circles, in order to keep birds away from the crops. We thought of turning this swinging motion into kinetic energy. There would be a handle with a rope and wire coming out of it connected to a ball with a light in it. The rope would be by physically attached to the shaft of a gear motor which would be inside of the handle; when the ball would be swung around, it would cause the shaft to rotate, thus generating electricity. This electricity would be outputted back to the wire which would power the light.
This in the end would resemble a Poi performance art prop:
We then realized this would likely get tangled, or have difficulties rotating the shaft if it was attached directly to it; instead we decided it would be better to attach the rope to a plate or L bracket attached to the shaft, which would increase the torque and force the shaft to rotate.
We believe we will go with this Poi, as it involves large muscles and motion, will be fun, and appears to be feasible.