Avaliable next summer for about $600 this wheel can plug into nearly any bike. According to the designers:
The Copenhagen Wheel turns the bike you already own, quickly and easily into an electric bike with regeneration and real-time environmental sensing capabilities. The wheel harvests the energy you input while braking and cycling and stores it for when you need a bit of a boost. At the same time, sensors in the wheel are collecting information about air and noise pollution, congestion and road conditions.
The Copenhagen Wheel differs from other electric bikes in that all components are elegantly packaged into one hub. There is no external wiring or bulky battery packs, making it retrofittable into any bike. Inside the hub, we have arranged a motor, 3-speed internal hub gear, batteries, a torque sensor, GPRS and a sensor kit that monitors CO, NOx, noise (db), relative humidity and temperature. In the future, you will be able to spec out your wheel according to your riding habits and needs.
Live in San Francisco? Add more battery power. Interested in real-time applications? Increase the number of sensors.
Lastly, the wheel is controlled through your Smart Phone and becomes a natural extension of your everyday life. Simply place your phone on the handlebars, and its Bluetooth module syncs with the Bluetooth module in the hub of the Copenhagen Wheel. You can then use your phone and our Copenhagen Wheel Application to unlock and lock your bike, change gears, select how much the motor assists you and for viewing relevant real-time information.
Find out more about this wheel developed at MIT with designers from all over the industry here.
(Images: The Copehagen Wheel Project)