This ‘gym boat’ that could float across the Seine is powered by workouts
A new boat design proposes to sail the famous Parisian river using human motion
It can be tough to find a gym with a view.
But the Paris Navigating Gym, a new design proposal, would let exercisers sail along the Seine, looking out at the French city’s riverbanks and skyline. That is, if they help to power it.
The 65-foot-long boat would be outfitted with bikes and cross-trainer machines that would harness the energy generated by passengers’ workouts. That, in turn, would fuel the vessel’s electric propellers.
The proposal is the product of a collaboration between design and innovation firm Carlo Ratti Associati, fitness equipment manufacturer Technogym, architecture nonprofit Terraform One, and urban regeneration institute URBEM.
The workout -powered boat could hold up to 45 people, and augmented-reality displays in the boat would show them how much energy was being generated by their workouts in real time. Of course, it wouldn’t be entirely up to those on the fitness machines to move the boat — supplementary photovoltaic solar cells on the roof would provide energy as well, so passengers don’t have to run or pedal themselves all the way back to shore if they don’t want to.
The boat isn’t the first technology that would harness the power of human motion — a bicycle generator created by 5-Hour Energy founder Manoj Bhargaa yields 24 hours of power after a one-hour workout, and a bicycle desk can charge your computer while you work.
The gym boat takes the same concept to a new level. The roof on the glass exterior would be closed during the winter, but the covering would be removed in summer months. The design was inspired by the Seine’s traditional ferry boats, called Bateaux Mouches.
Further feasibility analyses would need to be conducted before the vision could become a reality, but the design team estimates that the boat could be fully designed, built, and tested in 18 months.
The price of a floating workout, however, is still undetermined.