Using The Energy From a Soccer Ball to Light Up Learning
Author: Alicia Jooste
Kicking a soccer ball for 20 minutes generates enough energy to power an LED light for 3 hours, and allow kids to learn and after dark.
The Uncharted Play social enterprise is experimenting with kinetic energy to transform everyday actions into power. Through a combination of science and technology, walking across a room, sitting in a chair or playing outdoors are all activities which will eventually be able to power things, like mobile phones, or house lights.
The group began with the development of the Soccket in 2008 - a soccer ball that can generate three hours of LED light after 20 minutes of play.
CEO Jessica O. Mathews says, “the concept wasn’t to try to solve the world’s energy problems, but to empower people to see the role they can play in getting the power they need.”
The company’s core technology system MORE - motion-based off-grid renewable energy - uses a micro-generator system. These custom micro-generator systems can be fully integrated into almost anything that moves, allowing Uncharted Play to transform soccer balls and skipping ropes into a source of off-grid power.
Like many startups, the company previously ran into manufacturing issues that affected the quality of earlier versions of the products, leaving many Socckets broken after only three days of use.
Learning from these mistakes, the company have bounced back to continue the journey of democratising energy access worldwide.
“It’s exciting because everyone moves. It’s one of the most underutilised forms of renewable energy. Imagine a world where everything around you is a source of power. And imagine a world where we can harness that power and use it to power lights, charge mobile phones.”
Companies such as Uncharted Play continue to play an important role in revolutionising the ways in which energy can be consumed and generated. During a time of heated political debate over the future of energy, these companies are essential to transform how communities and nations are responding to climate change.
- If you are a budding entrepreneur visit ‘EnergyLab’, Australia’s first startup accelerator program focused on developing the state’s renewable and advanced energy sector.
- Look at how your life is powered and make the switch to low emissions like residential solar or the new Planet Ark Power program for large-scale organisational installations.
Alicia worked at Planet Ark in 2016.
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