The episode ‘Fifteen Million Merits’ of the British TV series Black Mirror depicts a future world where everyone must cycle on exercise bikes to power their surroundings. This fiction could become reality with the latest concept by Italian design firm Carlo Ratti Associati. They envisioned a floating gym that harnesses human energy to sail down the Seine River in Paris.
The Paris Navigating Gym serves as a transportation concept that aims to portray how human energy holds the potential to power vehicles in the future. Instead of touring people around in its beloved Bateaux Mouches ferry-like boat appearance, the gym boat sets out to inspire people to exercise more. “It’s fascinating to see how the energy generated by a workout at the gym can actually help to propel a boat. It provides one with a tangible experience of what lies behind the often abstract notion of ‘electric power” says Carlo Ratti.
Besides generating energy from its occupants, who use ARTIS bikes and cross trainers to power the boat, the floating construction would be equipped with supplementary solar panels. It’s still in development, but the designers estimate to complete it within 18 months.