Smartphones: More powerful than all of NASA’s combined computing in 1969

High quality Earth image. Elements of this image furnished by NASA

“Today, your cell phone has more computer power than all of NASA back in 1969, when it placed two astronauts on the moon.” (Michio Kaku)

It seems hard to believe, but this statement is in fact true – a handheld device we all own has greater computational capabilities than the machines used for guiding spacecrafts through outer space some 45 years ago.

Numerous IBM System/ 360 Model 75 mainframe computers, costing around $3.5 million apiece, all while taking up a lot of space were running at NASA at the time.

These machines could perform a couple hundred thousand-addition operations per second, with their total memory capacity in the megabyte range.

As for the 32 kilogram Apollo Guidance Computer, which the Apollo 11 Command Module had on board, it was a machine that had 64 kilobytes of memory and operated at 0.043MHz.

The iPhone 5s, which can easily fit into any pocket, has a CPU running speed of up to 1.3GHz, which can execute millions of calculations per second.

The phone also includes 1GB of RAM, which can easily store the 6 megabytes of code that NASA developed to monitor the status of its spacecrafts and astronauts in 1969.

A couple years later, in 1975, a supercomputer called Cray-1 emerged. It was capable of 80MHz, and generally used for scientific projects, such as simulating the interaction of fluids. This device helped render the CGI for the first Tron movie, which was released in 1982.

However, the Cray-1’s raw computational power of 80 million floating-point operations per second (FLOPS) is nothing compared to the standard graphics unit inside the iPhone 5s, which produces around 77 GFLOPS – almost 1000 times more.

10 years after the Cray-1 was created, the Cray-2 was released in 1990, and was the world’s fastest supercomputer. But even with a performance of around 1.9 GFLOPS, the machine still ranks behind the iPhone when it comes to GFLOPS ratings.

So, when you consider all those amazing manned missions to the moon, and what it required to get there, remember that had the complexities of the final AGC been understood when the NASA began to design it, they would have likely never started, as they would have considered the computer far outside the available technology of the day.

In years to come, people will look at the iPhones and smartphones of today, so obsolete and so out-of-date toys that humans had to deal with to communicate.

Also read: Space-based solar power: Powering the earth

 

Sources:

http://www.zmescience.com/research/technology/smartphone-power-compared-to-apollo-432/

https://igotoffer.com/blog/how-powerful-was-the-apollo-11-computer/

http://www.phonearena.com/news/A-modern-smartphone-or-a-vintage-supercomputer-which-is-more-powerful_id57149

Commute in luxury: hop on board Japan’s Shiki-Shima

ultra-luxurious train

Designed to give you the ultimate luxury experience – the Shiki-Shima train is equipped with a full bar, two-storey suites, and bathtubs made from cypress trees.

The Shiki-Shima is a remarkable creation: a futuristic 10-coach train that runs on 3ft 6in-gauge lines and carries a maximum of 34 passengers, who enjoy the most luxurious experience on the rails.

The name Shiki-Shima means “Island of Four Seasons” and the train takes passengers from Tokyo to the northernmost island Hokkaido.

Shiki-Shima 2

The exclusive train was designed by Ken Kiyoyuki Okuyama, the Japanese auto designer behind various Porsche, Ferrari and Maserati models. The train features two-storey suites, a lounge and panoramic observation cars.

Everything on board aims to rival the experience of a top-end luxury hotel.

Michelin star chefs prepare the food on board and uniformed butlers provide service. After dining on the first night, passengers, passengers can enjoy a live performance of the traditional Japanese “Dance of the Dead”.

Shiki-Shima

The train’s maximum speed is only 70mph, only one-third of that achieved in a normal Bullet Train in Japan. Just like the new Japanese-designed trains for the Great Western Railway in the United Kingdom, the Shiki-Shima is equipped with both electric motors and diesel engines.

The plans for the train were announced by the East Japan Railway Company in 2014 and since then there has been a high demand.

ultra-luxurious train 2

You’ll need a little more than loose change to hop on board the Shiki-Shima. Tickets range from £2,220 to around £7,730 and you can choose between a two or four day trip.

Despite the hefty price tag, the Shiki-Shima has completely sold out until April 2018. In fact, bookings have been so high that they are now allocated by lottery.

You may also want to read:

Drone Taxis: Dubai announces passenger drone plans

 

Sources:

http://www.independent.co.uk/travel/news-and-advice/shiki-shima-east-japan-rail-company-tokyo-onsen-luxury-resort-a7714896.html

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/travel/travel_news/article-4465476/Japan-s-ultra-luxurious-new-sleeper-train-sets-off.html

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/in-pictures-39776889

Image Credits: luxexpose.com

F1 car vs. electric vehicle: which is more energy efficient?

Spanish Grand Prix

Formula 1 plays a big role in the development of next-generation automotive technologies, but are F1 cars more energy efficient than electric vehicles?

You wouldn’t think that a car built to go as fast as possible would be the most efficient car in the world. But, believe it or not, Mercedes 2016 W07 Hybrid Formula 1 race car model was in fact more energy efficient than the average electric vehicle on the road.

According to a report in 2016, the thermal efficiency of Mercedes’ class-leading hybrid Formula 1 engine was over 45 per cent.

Laurence Edmonson, a Formula 1 editor at ESPN, argues that a Formula 1 car is greener, since in the U.S., “at least 66 per cent of electricity comes from coal- and oil-fired energy stations, with just 13 per cent coming from renewables.”

Coal and oil power stations have a thermal efficiency of roughly 33 per cent, meaning the power used to drive an electric car is likely coming from a less efficient source compared to a Formula 1 engine.

Former Mercedes technical director, Paddy Lowe, says: “Electric cars are seen as green and the solution to all carbon emissions, but they are absolutely not.”

“It all depends where you get the electricity from and in a typical country with a regular profile of electricity generation, a Formula One car is massively more efficient than any electric car being charged from a power plant which is burning hydrocarbons. It is incredible that we’ve done that, but nobody is really talking about it that much.”

He added: “And while we have already achieved 45 per cent, we are not even stopping and so we will probably in two or three years’ time achieve 50 per cent efficiency. When you bear in mind that road cars have been stuck around 30 per cent for the last 50 years that is just mind blowing.”

Although this is hardly a direct comparison, the key fact here is that F1 cars can help push the development of energy-efficient technologies – influencing the production of new vehicles.

Spanish Grand Prix 2

Mercedes new WO8

With the Spanish Grand Prix just around the corner, the three leading F1 teams Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull are all bringing big upgrades for the first European race of the season in Barcelona.

Andy Cowell, the head of the Mercedes engine division says that they have put a lot of effort into improving the cooling system in the new W08 to make sure the most efficient package possible.

“One of the consequences of having an extra 5kg of fuel and an extra 10 per cent used per lap is that the waste energy – the engine is very efficient but not 100 per cent efficient, so there is some waste energy – how do you get rid of that waste energy?”

“We have put a lot of effort into the cooling system on the engine to get that waste energy out of the piston, out of the cylinder head, out of the crankcase and out of all the bearings, transmit that to the car and the cooling packages on the car need to increase as well.”

The Spanish Grand Prix will reveal the different upgrades of the F1 cars, and if Mercedes energy efficient engine will pay off for them.

 
 

You may also want to read:

Ferrari looks to piston innovation and 3D printing for F1 2017

 

 

Sources:

http://www.autoguide.com/auto-news/2016/04/formula-1-race-cars-are-more-energy-efficient-than-an-ev.html

http://www.espn.co.uk/f1/story/_/id/15152695/is-f1-car-more-energy-efficient-electric-vehicle

http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/129383

http://www.espn.co.uk/f1/story/_/id/18731693/mercedes-engine-boss-andy-cowell-explains-how-2017-regulations-impacted-engine-development

Image source: formula1.com

Drone Taxis: Dubai announces passenger drone plans

ehang 1

A passenger drone that can transport people is set to begin regular operations in Dubai from July this year. This was announced at the World Government Summit by the head of the city’s Roads and Transportation Agency.

With a lot of talk in recent years around self-driving cars, now, self-flying passenger drones are next — and could be up and flying in Dubai as soon as July this year.

The auto-piloted and eco-friendly EHang 184 is Chinese-made, with a top speed of 100 miles per hour. The egg shaped craft can fly 31 miles on one fully charged battery and can carry a single passenger with a small bag of a combined mass of 220 pounds.

Passengers will be able to select a destination from the self-driving taxi on a touch screen. The drone taxi will then take off automatically, transporting the passenger to their destination.

ehang 2

Senior lecturer in avionics and aircraft systems at the University of the West of England, Dr. Steve Wright, told BBC that the safety would have to be paramount. He said, “that normally it is easy to make the system to work. The tricky bit is making systems that are resilient to failure”.

“I would like to see the drone flying for at least 1000 hours before I saw a human in it,” Dr. Wright added.

Dr Wright did mention that he would not be volunteering for an early flight: “I’d have to be taken on board kicking and screaming.”

In a statement, the Roads & Transportation Authority said that the drones would be monitored remotely from a ground-based control room. “There’s no option to take control of the EHang 184 remotely,” adds The Daily Mail of London. “The cockpit is empty, apart from a stand to place a smartphone or tablet and a cup holder.”

“You know how it feels to sit in a Ferrari? This is 10 times better,” George Yan, co-founder of Ehang, told the Daily Mail in 2016 after the 184 was unveiled in Las Vegas.

“Everything is calculated in the backend to pick the most optimal route for you, so there is no collision with the other drones flying,” Yan added. “On the drone itself we have built pretty sophisticated back up services so if another system fails then another will take over.”

“This is not only a model,” Mattar al-Tayer, head of Dubai’s Roads and Transportation Authority, told AP. He added: “We have actually experimented with this vehicle flying in Dubai’s skies.”

We can expect to see more drones flying over the roads in the near future. At the start of the year, Israeli firm Urban Aeronautics announced that its Cormorant passenger drone – designed for military use – could be in use by 2020.

The £11 million drone can carry 500 kilograms at 185 kilometres per hour.

Sources:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-38967235

http://www.dailytech.com/Dubai+announces+passenger+drone+plans+/article40109.htm

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-38505626

Image Source: ehang.com

Robots making pizza: inside Silicon Valley’s robot pizzeria

Robots making pizza inside Silicon Valley robot pizzeria

Having already made a name for themselves by converting their deliver vehicles to bake pizzas during delivery, Zume Pizza have now taken their disruptive business model a step further by creating robots that make pizza.

Inside the kitchen of Mountain View’s pizzeria, Marta works over time, spreading marinara sauce on uncooked pizza bases. She never complains, takes no breaks, and is yet to take sick leave. Best of all, she works for free.

Marta is one of two robots working at Zume Pizza, a pizzeria delivery that does things a little differently. Currently, Zume only feeds people in Mountain View, California, but the company looks to take a big bite out of the $9.7 billion pizza delivery industry.

Teaming up with AAB Robotics, Zume’s partially-automated kitchen uses robot labour for certain tasks that are prone to human error, such as spreading sauce evenly — while still maintaining a human workforce to shape dough and dress the pizza bases with cheese and toppings.

“We are going to be the Amazon of food,” said Zume’s co-founder and executive chairman, Alex Garden.

Garden, 41, is the former president of Zynga Studios. Prior to that, he was general manager of Microsoft’s Xbox Live. He launched Zume in stealth mode in June 2015, when he began quietly recruiting engineers to build his patented trucks in an unmarked Mountain View garage.

Restaurant veteran, Julia Collins, 37, was brought on board in September 2015 — becoming chief executive officer and co-founder. Collins was previously the vice president and CEO of Harlem Jazz Enterprises, the holding company for Minton’s, a historic Harlem eatery.

Robots also take and process incoming orders by making use of artificial intelligence. “Pizza ordering is incredibly predictable,” Collins told KPIX. “Most of our customers order according to a rather habitual sort of method. So, what we can do is use artificial intelligence and machine learning to predict what orders are going to be available for us to fulfil.”

Zume aims to have 80% of their kitchen automated by this month, and has also been working on shortening their delivery time down to five minutes.

The pizzeria also claims that high levels of automation will lower prices, however this is not the current case with a Zume large pizza costing between $1 and $4 more than a large from Domino’s.

For the time being, Zume’s aim is to win over locals. Adam Martyn, who works at Stanford University, said he treats himself to the Lucky Bueno every two weeks. That’s a spicy pie with roasted garlic, Calabrian chilli and soppressata for $18. “The robots are cool, but I order because it tastes good,” Martyn said.

Sources:

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-06-24/inside-silicon-valley-s-robot-pizzeria

http://www.realclearlife.com/foodanddrink/silicon-valley-pizzeria-uses-robots-to-make-pizza/

Image Credit: Marcio Jose Sanchez

World’s first green energy boat prepares for voyage around the world

bateau-hp-00

Known as the “Solar Impulse of the Seas,” the first self-sufficient boat powered only by renewable energies — and not just the wind in its sails — hopes to make a historic six-year trip around the world.

The Solar Impulse, the plane that completed its round-the-world trip in July 2015 without the use of fuel became the first solar aeroplane ever to fly through the whole night.

Now the water-borne version of the Solar Impulse will take to the seas, only powered by the sun, the wind and self-generated hydrogen when it sets sail. The boat will begin its first of 101 stops in Paris, visiting 50 countries.

Originally designed in 1983, the 100-foot solar powered boat had great success in open-sea sailing races. From here, The Energy Observer project was dreamed up in 2015 by skippers Frédéric Dahirel and Victorien Erussard, with scuba diver and filmmaker Jérôme Delafosse also working behind the project.

“I’m passionate about new technologies,” Erussard said. “Building a self-sufficient boat could have seemed unrealistic, but this is going to be an incredible vessel. It’s very promising for the future.”

Mark Z. Jacobson, a Stanford University engineering professor who is working to help countries convert to 100 per cent renewable energies by 2050 said: “I believe that it is fantastic that a boat powered by hydrogen . . . will travel the world”.

He added: “It is an important step forward and consistent with this proposed path to 100 per cent clean, renewable energy worldwide for all purposes to solve energy security, job creation, air pollution and climate problems.”

The plan is to power the boats batteries in good weather with solar and wind energy. “If there’s no sun or wind, or if it’s night, stored hydrogen, generated by electrolysis powered by the solar panels and two wind turbines will take over,” explained Erussard.

The vessel will therefore not use any carbon-emitting fossil fuels, which is the case for 96 per cent of boats today.

The catamaran has an interesting past, having won the Jules Verne trophy, for a team sailing non-stop round the world, in 1994. The vessel was bought for half a million euros and extended by six meters, to 30.5 metres for the project.

Well-known French environmentalist Nicolas Hulot is backing the endeavour. “I support it because it’s the first project of this kind to actually be undertaken, it’s ambitious and looking toward the future,” Hulot told AFP.

“It’s very promising for marine transport,” Hulot added. “The Energy Observer is going to demonstrate that you can have great autonomy (at sea) and you can store and find energy when there isn’t any more wind or sun.”

Energy Observer’s voyage around the world is expected to take six years. Once the vessel has crossed the Mediterranean, it will venture out into the Atlantic and then Pacific oceans.

Funding remains an obstacle, with the expedition expected to cost at least four million euros a year, in particular to develop travelling cost. However the team remains confident that it will get the funds.

The six year planned voyage finds its inspiration from its airplane mentor the Solar Impulse, which completed its journey around the world on renewable energy and accomplished “what everyone said was impossible,” said Delafosse.

Sources:

http://e.vnexpress.net/news/world/green-powered-boat-readies-for-round-the-world-voyage-3466735.html

https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/kidspost/worlds-first-green-energy-boat-prepares-for-a-six-year-voyage-around-the-world/2017/01/11/addd870a-d37c-11e6-9cb0-54ab630851e8_story.html?utm_term=.d007a335ad87

Image Credit: Energy Observer

World’s first green energy boat prepares for voyage around the world

bateau-hp-00

Known as the “Solar Impulse of the Seas,” the first self-sufficient boat powered only by renewable energies — and not just the wind in its sails — hopes to make a historic six-year trip around the world.

The Solar Impulse, the plane that completed its round-the-world trip in July 2015 without the use of fuel became the first solar aeroplane ever to fly through the whole night.

Now the water-borne version of the Solar Impulse will take to the seas, only powered by the sun, the wind and self-generated hydrogen when it sets sail. The boat will begin its first of 101 stops in Paris, visiting 50 countries.

Originally designed in 1983, the 100-foot solar powered boat had great success in open-sea sailing races. From here, The Energy Observer project was dreamed up in 2015 by skippers Frédéric Dahirel and Victorien Erussard, with scuba diver and filmmaker Jérôme Delafosse also working behind the project.

“I’m passionate about new technologies,” Erussard said. “Building a self-sufficient boat could have seemed unrealistic, but this is going to be an incredible vessel. It’s very promising for the future.”

Mark Z. Jacobson, a Stanford University engineering professor who is working to help countries convert to 100 per cent renewable energies by 2050 said: “I believe that it is fantastic that a boat powered by hydrogen . . . will travel the world”.

He added: “It is an important step forward and consistent with this proposed path to 100 per cent clean, renewable energy worldwide for all purposes to solve energy security, job creation, air pollution and climate problems.”

The plan is to power the boats batteries in good weather with solar and wind energy. “If there’s no sun or wind, or if it’s night, stored hydrogen, generated by electrolysis powered by the solar panels and two wind turbines will take over,” explained Erussard.

The vessel will therefore not use any carbon-emitting fossil fuels, which is the case for 96 per cent of boats today.

The catamaran has an interesting past, having won the Jules Verne trophy, for a team sailing non-stop round the world, in 1994. The vessel was bought for half a million euros and extended by six meters, to 30.5 metres for the project.

Well-known French environmentalist Nicolas Hulot is backing the endeavour. “I support it because it’s the first project of this kind to actually be undertaken, it’s ambitious and looking toward the future,” Hulot told AFP.

“It’s very promising for marine transport,” Hulot added. “The Energy Observer is going to demonstrate that you can have great autonomy (at sea) and you can store and find energy when there isn’t any more wind or sun.”

Energy Observer’s voyage around the world is expected to take six years. Once the vessel has crossed the Mediterranean, it will venture out into the Atlantic and then Pacific oceans.

Funding remains an obstacle, with the expedition expected to cost at least four million euros a year, in particular to develop travelling cost. However the team remains confident that it will get the funds.

The six year planned voyage finds its inspiration from its airplane mentor the Solar Impulse, which completed its journey around the world on renewable energy and accomplished “what everyone said was impossible,” said Delafosse.

Sources:

http://e.vnexpress.net/news/world/green-powered-boat-readies-for-round-the-world-voyage-3466735.html

https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/kidspost/worlds-first-green-energy-boat-prepares-for-a-six-year-voyage-around-the-world/2017/01/11/addd870a-d37c-11e6-9cb0-54ab630851e8_story.html?utm_term=.d007a335ad87

Image Credit: Energy Observer

Ferrari looks to piston innovation and 3D printing for F1 2017

209. Ferrari looks to piston innovation and 3D printing for F1 2017

Ferrari looks to implement 3D printing technology for an innovative piston design that could deliver a major boost for its 2017 Formula 1 engine.

Failing to match its bold pre-season expectations in 2016, this year Ferrari’s efforts are taking place under a strict code of silence as of orders from president Sergio Marchionne. A lot of work has been progressing in Maranello to make a much-needed step forward.

The development of the 668 project is well developed and should make its public debut at Fiorano for a filming day later this week (February 24) – with the Formula 1 car set to be revealed as has been the case in previous years.

Engine department chief designer Sassi Lorenzo and Enrico Gualteri, responsible for assembly, hope to complete these crucial changes that technical director Mattia Binotto anticipates to be a major breakthrough.

It is tipped that the main focus of change will be in combustion, with the chamber set for a considerable increase in pressure thanks to the latest work on the Turbulent Jet Ignition System that has been used in recent years.

It’s proposed that a new micro-injector design from Magneti Marelli will help create the perfect flame for the ignition chamber to increase performance, and reduce fuel use.

The changes will put the engine under intense forces, with the possibility of 400 bar pressure – plus a big increase in temperature that can be a threat to reliability.

Focusing on innovation, Ferrari is revolutionising its approach to engine design in order to meet its targets. Tests are now ongoing about a new piston design concept that uses a new steel alloy.

Although the FIA rules limit the materials manufacturers can use, Ferrari is looking to move away from aluminium that is commonly used. Aluminium alloys are lighter than steel and also have less ability to resist deformation and not break in extreme temperatures.

The extra weight in moving car parts such as the pistons is a major issue – thus the focus on finding a solution that performs better and has more reliability. In the hopes of finding the right alloy, Maranello engineers are evaluating the latest 3D printing technologies (known in the industry as Additive Manufacturing).

By using this technique, engineers can build up thin layers on material one at a time, making it possible to create complex shapes that would have been impossible to create using traditional casting and machining methods.

3D printing allows a degree of freedom, allied to the speed of production – this has opened up a new frontier of design development that for something that was once restricted to prototyping plastic parts for wind tunnel models.

Materials such as steel alloys can now be considered because you no longer have to manufacture full surfaces. Honeycomb designs are possible, and bring the advantage of strength without the disadvantage of weight.

It’s unlikely that Ferrari is alone in looking at this new technology, and Binotto is hoping to get the performance improvements on track sooner rather than later. This could be as early as the start of the season.

 Sources:

http://www.motorsport.com/f1/news/ferrari-eyes-innovative-piston-solution-thanks-to-3d-printing-870008/

http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/127947

https://3dprint.com/163734/ferrari-3d-print-pistons-formula-1/

Image Credit: XPB Images

Uber Removes Self-Driving Cars From San Francisco Roads

Uber

Uber pulled its self-driving cars from San Francisco’s streets after the state of California revoked registrations for the vehicles.

The withdraw impacted 16 Uber automobiles as a result of Uber’s obscure defiance of a California requirement that it get a $150 permit to operate self-driving cars in San Francisco.

Uber said that it began rolling out its self-driving vehicles in its hometown of San Francisco without requesting permission from authorities. The company argued it hadn’t acted any different to Tesla Motors, which makes electric cars that include a feature called Autopilot.

In relation, Anthony Levandowski, head of Uber’s self-driving vehicle team, told reporters that the Volvo XC90 SUVs in the San Francisco test fleet, didn’t require a permit since each vehicle had two technicians in the front seats at all times. The California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) strongly disagreed and the California Attorney General’s office demanded that Uber comply or halt the program.

Uber may say that its self-driving cars don’t need test permits, but their functionality still seems to be a work in progress. Other road users pointed out a few traffic incidents within days of the car’s arrival on Californian streets — camera footage showed a vehicle running a red light, and programming faults were identified that could see the self-driving vehicles making potentially unsafe turns in bike lanes.

Uber acknowledged from the get-go that it wouldn’t seek Autonomous Vehicle Testing permits, despite the fact that they aren’t difficult to acquire. There are currently 20 companies testing a total of 130 autonomous vehicles in California, which along with several individual test drivers have already received these permits, according to the DMV.

In a statement, Uber confirmed that it had stopped its self-driving pilot in California after the registrations were revoked. “We’re now looking at where we can redeploy these cars, but remain 100 per cent committed to California and will be redoubling our efforts to develop workable statewide rules”.

The revocation of the registrations means that Uber cannot legally use its vehicles on San Francisco roads. The DMV did however point out that the company would be able to restart its self-driving service in the city once the relevant permit is secured.

In a letter to Uber’s Davis White, Jean Shiomoto — the director of the California DMV — said that the agency “stands ready to work with Uber collaboratively,” and that the “autonomous vehicle testing application process is simple and straightforward.”

Uber is currently still operating its self-driving vehicles in Pittsburgh, where the program began in September. San Francisco was the second city where Uber customers could request a ride in a self-driving car.

Sources:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/alanohnsman/2016/12/16/uber-doubles-down-on-decision-to-defy-california-on-self-driving-car-rules/#2d2f7b991834

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-12-22/uber-autonomous-cars-stop-after-california-cancels-registrations

http://www.theverge.com/2016/12/21/14049070/uber-san-francisco-self-driving-removed-registration-revoked

Image credit: wired.com

Workplace workouts: Self-powering gym workstations

(FILES)Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates attends the Clinton Global Initiative during in this September 24, 2013 file photo in New York. Microsoft announced February 4, 2014 that Satya Nadella will take over the reigns as CEO succeeeding Steve Ballmer who is out effective immediately. Microsoft also announced that Gates, previously Chairman of the Board of Directors, will assume a new role on the Board as Founder and Technology Advisor, and "will devote more time to the company, supporting Nadella in shaping technology and product direction." AFP PHOTO/Mehdi Taamallah/FILESMEHDI TAAMALLAH/AFP/Getty Images ORG XMIT: Bill Gate

Self-sustaining gyms

Businesses around the world are moving towards self-sustaining gyms, ensuring that when you get your cardio in at the gym you’re doing more than getting a good workout, you’re saving energy.

The Cadbury House Club, a health club in Bristol makes use of gym equipment that harnesses the energy produced during workouts, feeding the building’s power supply. The Cadbury House Club was one of the first gyms in the world to install the ARTIS Technogym machines.

ARTIS uses unique technology that reduces energy use, recycling and renewing energy. The human energy is rerouted into the network and renewed to feed the gym.

Self-powering gym workstations

More businesses may look to implement self-powering gym workstations in the office environment. A healthy lifestyle can improve your workforce productivity – encouraging business leaders to promote a healthier working environment.

Business leaders can now take the fitness concept further than cycling to work or heading out to the gym during lunch hours – with self-powering desk based exercise equipment. The idea behind self-powering gym workstations is that you can use them easily to include a ‘little and often’ exercise routine into your normal working day.

Office Fitness and other companies offer businesses a range of exercise equipment designed especially for the office. This equipment includes: under-desk steppers, mini-bikes and treadmills.

The Inside Trainer offers an upper body option, the OfficeGYM attaches to a standard desk chair’s back, with rubber resistance bands for exercises targeting at least 25 muscle groups. This allows three-dimensional exercises based on the principle of resistance training.

The value of self-powering workstations

The nine to five grind keeps many employees penned up at their desk, making exercise difficult to fit into an everyday routine.

Self-powering gym workstations don’t require energy and are friendly to the environment. Furthermore, encouraging fitness in the workplace can be extremely beneficial for employers.

Office exercise equipment such as the office fitness bike, have health benefits over inactive sitting for long periods of time. Endorphins are released during exercise, aiding employees with more self-confidence and energy – allowing them to have a more positive attitude when at work, and feel less stressed too.

By showing your employees that you care about their fitness levels you will boost morale – it demonstrates to your employees and colleagues that their health and well-being is important to the company they work for.

The future of corporate fitness

Workplace fitness is becoming the norm rather than a novelty. More companies are introducing either policies or activities that support and improve healthy behaviours. This makes employees feel valued and cared for; with less sick days, better productivity and overall more loyalty to a company. Adding gym workstations are a clear way to add healthy habits to a workforce.

In the future, we may see businesses including self-sustaining gym workstations into the office environment – rerouting workforce energy to feed the business. One thing to note is that any fitness initiative put into practice by a business should be voluntary and fun.

Sources:

http://www.technogym.com/artis/en/

https://cleantechnica.com/2013/12/06/value-energy-producing-gym/

https://www.forumforthefuture.org/greenfutures/articles/uk-gym-converts-workout-energy-building-power

http://www.officefitness.co.uk/

http://www.nj.com/homegarden/index.ssf/2015/01/office_fitness_active_sitting_is_the_start_of_working_out_at_work.html

Image Credit: OfficeGYM