Innovation That Matters

Energy-harnessing musical instrument provides power to communities off the grid

Publishing & Media

Currently seeking funding on Kickstarter, SPARK is a percussion instrument that stores energy to power phone chargers and lights when it's shaken.

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There are areas in the world where energy infrastructure is next to nonexistent, meaning that the people living there can’t rely on a consistent source of electricity. In the past, products such as the SOCCKET soccer ball have harnessed energy from human activity when they’re interacted with in order to provide power later on. Now a new project has developed SPARK, a musical instrument that takes a similar approach.

The idea was developed by Sudha Kheterpal, percussionist in the electonic band Faithless, and the device takes the form of a handheld shaker that provides a simple percussive sound. Inside is an electromagnet that induces a current as it moves forwards and backwards, charging a battery. It can later be connected via USB to a small LED strip to provide light in the nighttime, or to a mobile phone charger to keep communities connected. Around 12 minutes of shaking gives an hour of LED light.

Watch the video below to learn more about the project:

SPARK is a device that simultaneously enables music education and enjoyment, while also bringing electric power to the communities that need it. The project aims to initially develop 1,000 of the instruments, and is seeking funding through Kickstarter until 10 July. Are there other existing products that could be redesigned to harness energy that’s otherwise wasted?




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