A group of students at UC Berkeley designed a smart device that uses a chair's rocking motion to produce energy. Dubbed the 'Volta,' this smart chair was designed as part of an effort to improve our standard seating through electronic, mechanical and software changes.
The Volta works by harnessing the rocking motion produced by someone sitting in the chair. When the chair begins to rock, it causes the pendulum underneath to begin swinging. The pendulum subsequently actives a series of gears that turn a small motor. This motor is attached to a set of batteries that can be used to power any electronics that are attached to the chair. After a series of tests, the students found that the chair can actually charge a device with nearly the same effectiveness as a conventional wall plug.