Superpedestrian are a team of designers and robotics engineers dedicated to transforming urban mobility. Their flagship invention is the Copenhagen Wheel. This is a rear bicycle wheel, interchangeable with any other rear wheel, that has an inbuilt motor and computer to assist cycling. This was unveiled at the 2009 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen
In countries like the Netherlands which have relatively high levels of urban cycling, the most vulnerable members of society often use electric bicycles. Offer a way for the elderly to negotiate bicycle paths without fear of strain.
Conveniently, the Copenhagen Wheel works on almost any bike, meaning that people who might find themselves increasingly unable to tackle hills due to declining health, can exchange their rear wheel for this. Measures such as this become more important for inclusion as a bikes become more dominant in a city.
The Copenhagen Wheel continuously synchronizes with your motion, amplifying your power, and uses regenerative braking to capture the power otherwise lost when you slow down.
The wheel is charged externally via a battery charger, and can be controlled via a smartphone app. Power is delivered at key points y the inbuilt computer which uses sensors to conduct an analysis of the surrounding topography, and as the device uses Bluetooth to connect to your smartphone, there are no wires to deal with.
The Copenhagen wheel turns a normal bike into an electric cycle, but it also adds extra weight and screams out to be stolen. The high price tag (£385) might also deter potential users, however, security measures are incorporated into the app, and presumably the extra weight is negated by the increased power. James Dyson called this a “21st century upgrade to the bicycle”. I don’t quite agree, but for certain subsection of society I think it’s a perfect solution for urban cycling.