Whether it’s at home on your couch or in the office at your desk, we’ve all read about the negative health consequences of sitting for too long. But have you ever considered the amount of kinetic energy you’re wasting by staying still? Andy Wekin and Steve Blood from the startup Pedal Power in Essex, N.Y., have dreamed up a way to harness that wasted energy and transform it into power that can charge your computer or phone — or even split logs and mill grain, if you’re into that type of thing.
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The duo has developed two products: the $2,000 Big Rig, which includes an ergonomic seat, work surface, and outlets to re-energize your devices. Think of it as a stationary bike and desk in one. They’ve also created the Pedal Genny, a $350 portable machine that can be used to pump water, sow grain or generate power in remote areas. Both inventions are open source designs, meaning the plans will be available to individuals who want to build the machines on their own.
It may seem like a radical idea, but as Wekin and Blood have pointed out, their innovation isn’t just about selling bikes. It’s about making people consider their relationship with energy. “I want to connect people to the energy they use,” Blood says. “I want people to understand how precious energy is, and how hard it is to come by.”