Kick off to power

A soccer ball that harnesses kinetic energy and works as a mini generator could changes many lives in developing countries.

sOccket is a soccer ball with the potential to provide simple, clean, off-the-grid electricity to developing nations.

Developed by four undergraduate students in a Harvard University engineering class, sOccket uses an inductive coil mechanism, similar to those found in shake-to-use torches. The movement of the ball pushes a magnet through a coil, which creates a voltage that generates electricity. Weighing a little more than a standard soccer ball, it’s able to capture the energy generated while playing with the ball and store it for use at a later stage.

The idea is that children in poor communities in developing nations can kick the sOccket around after school, a favourite pastime anyway, and then take the ball home where they can plug a lamp into the ball when it gets dark. For every 15 minutes of ball play the sOccket stores enough energy to power a small LED light for three hours.

The latest sOccket 2.0 was manufactured by Cape Town design agency Dot Dot Dot Ex Why Zed.

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