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Small training pods powered by human kinetic energy

Image credit: Ornate Garden

Darko Savic
Darko Savic Dec 21, 2021
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Glass training pods, placed in locations with scenic views. They contain various exercise equipment that when used, generates electricity. Human-powered heating, ventilation, music.
Booking and payment are done via an app.
  • Train in nature during winter or bad weather.
  • A gamified power production/consumption concept.
  • Safer training during covid times. The pods are limited to 2-5 people at a time.
  • No electricity bill for the business owner.
Another way to look at the usefulness of this idea is:
  • people go to the gym to work out
  • people like a comfortable environment
  • people like music while they work out
  • the downside of a gym is that it's enclosed and the mind doesn't get to wander and enjoy great sights (nature, views)
  • people don't like to go to crowded places so as not to get covid
  • people like doing stuff with their friends
This idea solves all of the above in one big remix.
How it works
Training pods in 2 different sizes. The smaller ones are for 2 people, while the larger ones are for up to 5 people.
You book and pay for usage via an app. You can reserve multiples of 15-minute time blocks.
Electricity generation and consumption logic
All pods are solely powered by human kinetic energy. There is no electricity until you start peddling, rowing, or running on a treadmill. The pods contain various exercise equipment that when used, generates electricity to power ventilation, music, Wifi, and heating.
The electric powered devices turn on automatically, based on how much power you are generating. The devices are wired so that they come on in the order of importance:
  1. ventillation with heat recouperation
  2. internet + wifi + phone charger
  3. audio system for music
  4. heating or cooling, depending on the desired settings
  5. AC power outlet where you can plug in an additinal device (up to 100 Watts)
Bigger pods have bigger systems that require multiple people to power them. Smaller ones can be powered by a single person. In 5-person pods, 3 people could take a break while 2 of them keep all systems running.
If you stop peddaling/rowing/running the AC and heating turns off within a few seconds. The audio system goes off within 2 minutes, the internet and ventillation goes off within 3 minutes. When you restart action, the devices come on in the same order of importance.
Bathroom, drinks, towels
There is a communal bathroom separate from the pods. There are vending lockers with clean towels, drinks, snacks near the bathroom area.
Covid times
Such training pods would be especially useful during the covid times. In contrast to regular gyms, here the chance of viral transmission is limited to people that came together and would have spent time together regardless of training.
When the previous group checks out of the pod, it gets automatically sprayed with disinfectant.
Creative contributions

Gym Pod

Darryl Koh Yuan Jie
Darryl Koh Yuan Jie Dec 22, 2021
Great idea as always! Actually in Singapore, someone has done a similar startup, though not as ambitious(it does not generate its own electricity), it is nevertheless a first step forward. Interestingly enough, there is apparently an outdoor exercise corner that generates electricity too, though I have not used it for myself. It seems you are trying to combine both ideas together which is great!
I think moving forward, one idea that could help would be how to add additional variety of workouts that can also generate electricity. For example, it is not too hard to generate electricity from a treadmill, rowing machine etc. However, free weights are rather hard to be utilized as a device that is able to generate electrical power. Even those that have assistance(assisted bench press), I believe are unable to generate enough power due to the fact that the movements are simply too minor for any considerable impact.
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Mini locker for the snowy shoes

Miloš Stanković
Miloš Stanković Dec 22, 2021
Because of the use in the winter and when there's bad weather, there would be a need for a mini locker-room type setup to remove your regular shoes and put on your training ones. Don’t want to bring in snow from your shoes onto a treadmill or an elliptical. And if the pods are located in scenic places, they wouldn't be car-accessible or at least parking lot adjacent most of the time. If the floor is carpeted the water would stink up the place fast. If it's a smooth surface even a tiny amount of snow from your regular shoes could cause slipping in a place with lots of heavy weights.
The entryway would need a small locker room type setup. I don't think a separate space like for the bathroom would work for the locker space because you would still get snow in going from one to the other.
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Training pods that can heat, give electricity or fund homeless education

jnikola Oct 10, 2022
Anybody can come, work out and help homeless people.
  • a great way of giving to the local community
  • a way how homeless people can heat themselves or their homes, charge their phones, devices or cook their meals
  • a great way of finding resources to fund the homeless through local community efforts
  • raising awareness of how much you can do with your own work (targeted towards homeless people)
How would it work?
Training pods or exercise devices would be put close to places where homeless people hang out. These places can be put next to the existing homeless "homes", or intentionally put somewhere outside city centres, in predesigned small home pods for the homeless, etc.
They would be free-to-use for everyone. You could just come and workout while seeing how much your effort helped the homeless community. The effort could be seen by the amount of energy you generated. There could even be an app that helps you track your community work and awards you with points. This energy could be:
  1. stored in the giant battery (1x1m cubicle) next to the park which could be used by anyone to charge their phones, devices or similar.
  2. delivered to the homeless directly by providing them with warmth during the cold months, or powering fans during hot summer days
  3. put back into the grid while the same amount of energy would be then:
  4. redistributed to heat the homeless via heaters at specific locations
  5. used or sold and money used to produce nice-looking homeless shelters, more training grounds, provide food for the homeless, etc.
  6. sold and money used to fund homeless education and training, finding them work, etc.
What do you think?
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Shubhankar Kulkarni
Shubhankar Kulkarni2 years ago
Great idea! There should also be an option to give away charge from your phones at such training pods. If you are not able to spend time working out but are a passerby and going home, you know you do not need that much charge on your phone, you could then give away some of it. You simply plug the cable and see your charge decreasing. You stop when you have a bare amount left.
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The first one to use, the first one to freeze

jnikola Dec 23, 2021
Really cool idea I would use on daily basis. But, since the energy would be produced while the pod is being used, how would you heat it up during the night, so the first user who comes doesn't freeze to death?
This question popped up because I, for example, hate swimming in the public pools (especially in the morning), because the water is so cold. The same happens with street workout bars and equipment.
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Darko Savic
Darko Savic2 years ago
You start with your gloves and jacket on. You take stuff off as you begin building up a sweat. Breathing in the cold/dry air might be a problem though.
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General comments

Miloš Stanković
Miloš Stanković2 years ago
A leaderboard for the most amount of electricity produced per week/per month would be a great way to incentivize people towards a harder workout.
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Darko Savic
Darko Savic2 years ago
agreed, that would be amazing
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