Human Power

Week 14 Journal 9  When you actually take time to think about there are a massive amount of energy transactions going on all around us. What if the excess energy from these transactions could be captured and put into system that converts this energy into usable power. This was the aim of a project called the Paris Navigating Gym a collaboration by Carlo Ratti Associati with Technogym, Terreform ONE, and URBEM.  This floating gym was designed to allow Parisians to inhabit the Seine river year round an according to Ratti it “investigates the potential of harnessing human power.” The inhabitants of the of the vessel power it by using gym equipment that conveys their kinetic energy into usable electricity to power the boat and the excess energy is put into the Paris’s power grid. This is an interesting concept because it defies our expectations of transportation. Usually our powered vehicles are burning fuel and adding to the problem of pollution; the Paris Navigating Gym actually functions without causing any pollution and actually helping to reduce the amount of pollution created by power plants because it puts its excess energy into the power grid. Developing these types of technology further could help lead humanity away from the age of fossil fuels and towards a future powered by the efforts of our own muscles. After all as our population, the source of many global issues, grows so does the potential for human generated power.

Works Cited



  1. Final Blog Post – Overall very good post and well in depth. I like the idea and concept behind it. After reading your post it makes me wonder exactly how this navigating gym can put excess energy back into the power grid. I’m sure you meant that it doesn’t draw from the power grid because there’s really no way to store excess energy while on a boat to send back to the grid. I’d just like to know a little bit more about how it works. I wonder how successful this is in the city and if it can be applied to other cities. You mentioned that it is also used year round so I wonder what they do when things get really cold. Overall all though pretty good post and it definitely informed me about this technology.

  2. leiph004

    Week 14 Ben Leipholtz

    This is really quite an interesting idea and immediately raises a few questions. First off, I wonder how important the aspect of transportation is here. The same idea could theoretically be applied to any gym or even other public settings. The concept is simple; in this day and age the gym membership has become commonplace, and with it millions of people generate copious amounts of unharnessed energy everyday. In fact some exercise equipment actually requires energy to operate which is double the loss. The solution lies within the design of the equipment – that is, finding a way to design exercise equipment capable of harvesting the energy produced by humans without interfering with the workout. Though this only solves a technical problem of “How”. The situation is more complex. Our society is not conditioned to work for free, or in this case, provide energy for free. People want compensation. Maybe that is in the form of transportation, maybe a free membership to a gym. Either way, the solution is not terribly complex, but rather a matter of implementing the technology in the most efficient and beneficial way.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: