What if you could charge your laptop while building muscles and cardiovascular fitness? It’s now possible, according to exercise equipment manufacturer SportsArt, Inc. The company just announced its new rowing machine, the G260, which uses an “electromagnetic braking system [to produce] energy as you move.” It’s the latest addition to the company’s ECO-POWR line, which includes an elliptical, a treadmill, and several stationary bicycles.
SportsArt is premiering the product at CES 2022. Interesting Engineering snagged an exclusive interview with executive VP Ruben Mejia to get the low-down on their new product.
This interview has been edited for brevity and clarity.
Interesting Engineering: Approximately how much power does the G260 ROWER generate?
Ruben Mejia: All ECO-POWR products, including the G260 rower, convert up to 74% of human energy into usable electricity. While working out on the G260, users can generate up to 220wH of electricity per hour workout.
IE: Can you give a couple of examples of what that energy could be used for?
RM: In just one hour of working out with the G260 rower, users can produce enough electricity to power a desktop computer for 2.4 hours. Also, the electricity generated can be used to power the lights in any room in your house.
IE: How does the electromagnetic braking system produce energy?
RM: The electromagnetic braking system works similarly to a regenerative braking system on an electric car. When you pump the brakes on a gas-powered car, the brake pads press against the disk and the friction creates energy in the form of heat, which vanishes into the air. With a regenerative braking system, we use a magnet to slow or stop the movement of the internal wheel. The friction still creates energy, but we capture that energy to power an internal generator that produces the electricity.
IE: What sort of technology does the rower use to capture that energy?
RM: Products in the ECO-POWR line use a patented, built-in inverter to harness wattage from human exercise, converting them to AC power and feeding it back into the local grid as useable energy.