Got a Supercomputer? Run It By Bicycle!
We've already seen some interesting entries as part of the Innovate or Die contest sponsored by Specialized and Google, the aim of which is to "invent and build machines that transform pedaling energy into new and useful purposes." Now, those clever folks at MIT have upped the ante by using bicycles to power a supercomputer for 20 minutes, setting "a new world record for human powered computing." A group of spandex-clad graduate students generated 1,200 watts, enough to allow the computer to run models as part of research into the possibility of "harnessing the energy creation processes of the sun. . .open[ing] the possibility of limitless energy."
In the above video, a student points out that while nuclear fusion is a potential source of clean energy in the distant future, bicycles are "already a clean energy source that allows people transportation throughout cities and around the country." How about that? Using the world's most energy-efficient vehicle to power an efficient computer to do research on future sources of energy, all while recognizing that we already have the technology needed to solve climate change.