Human Hampster Wheel for Energy

Green Wheel by is an exercise machine that transforms kinetic energy produced by the human body into electricity. Multiple machines are connected to a central energy storage unit where electricity can then be supplemented to road lights and traffic lights. Designer Nadim Inaty imagines that units could be placed in public spaces, and that users could donate some of their jogging time in exchange for a place to run. If you’re running anyway- why not?!

Designer: Nadim Inaty


  • brian t says:

    Small correction: Energy is measured in Watt.Hours, not Watts. Power, the RATE of energy transfer, is in Watts. If we assume you mean “running on Green Wheel is expected to generate up to 120 Watt HOURS of energy” it makes more sense. That assumes an average output of 240 Watts per runner, which is a LOT. Expect much less from less fit runners. A more reasonable figure would be 150W*, or 75 W.Hr over 30 minutes.

    You would need a control system in place to avoid over-stressing the runner. If you try and extract 200W when they are only able to supply 100W, it will feel like a too-steep hill and they’ll just stop. It should be programmable, like on a treadmill, so that they can do e.g. interval training determined by heart rate. Some cooling fans would be a good idea, too – how hot will it get inside there when the sun is shining.

    PS: there is no “P” in “Hamster”!


  • Quintin says:

    I’ve been looking into something like this for a spinning bike. We have one at home and use it approximately 8 to 10 hours a week in winter.

    I have only one comment: the clear poly carbonate tube won’t be clear for very long if this is used…

    How safe is it? What’ll happen if the runner falls?

  • cnyt says:

    round surface may not be the right choice for runner.

  • Fernando says:

    This is a very interesting concept, and looking at comments there seems to be that there’s still a little more thinking to do with this product.

    The idea to harvest human expended energy for humans is great!, it inspired me to design.

  • toddy says:

    wow!!!it’s a great idea to use kinetic energy while jogging and transform it into electricity that can be supplemented into equipment in parks or any other public place.

  • Jimmy C says:

    Huh. How novel.

  • Nadim Inaty says:

    Hi Briant,
    you are right that the measurement is Watt/hour, but the thing is that there is no mistake since the unit is supposed to produce up to 120 watt/30min => 240w/h
    the diameter of the wheel is 3m and this is exactly to amplify the power that is transmitted to the gears.
    the unit offers 3 levels of stress that is not shown in the slides here (sorry)
    and about the name, the orginal name was “green wheel” and the new name was a suggestion by Yankodesign.
    thank you for your comment 🙂

  • Nadim Inaty says:

    Hi Quintin,
    you are right about the scratching of the poly-carbonate, we were thinking first about a metal perforated mesh, but since the wheel is going to be moving all the time, the scratches will not be so visible when the person is running inside except if it becomes really fully scratched which might happen in a public space.
    thank you for commenting 🙂

  • Nadim Inaty says:

    as for the falling issue, the handles when pushed down breaks the unit movement, so if you feel like falling you just have to grab them and you are safe.

  • brian t says:

    I said Watt.Hour (watts x hours), since Energy = Power x Time. (Or: Power = Energy/Time, and 1 Watt = 1 Joule per second). Watts/Hour (watts per hour) is not a useful measurement. Power in Watts is an instantaneous measurement, a rate. So: if you generate 240 Watts of Power, and keep doing that for 30 minutes, you have provided 120 Watt.Hours of Energy.

    Also: gearing does not “amplify” power. Gearing changes speed and torque (and thus resistance), but not the power output or the total energy transfer over time. (Except that people put out different power at different speeds, of course.)

    I don’t mean to be critical, but Yanko seems to carry a lot of energy-capturing “eco” designs by designers who really need to speak to someone in the Engineering department before publishing ..! Terms like Energy and Power have very specific meanings and formulas associated with them, and it’s essential to use them correctly if you want to show a design is feasible. 8)

  • new goods,but i don’t know the round running is very suitable for every people,maybe it’s looks like street performers show.

  • Dom says:

    This “kind” of idea is now new, however, the design is plausible, and the numbers ARE realistic. This machine could be manufactured, and put into use next month.

    It is frustrating when graduate designers make ridiculous conceptual designs such as the “glass panel toaster” or “solar powered aeroplane” – which are not only technically impossible, but downright stupid.

    All you need now is some motivation to leave your pc, and start generating some free energy, and with more and more “off the grid” households, I would like to see this design come to fruition.

    Well Done!

  • Nadim Inaty says:

    thank you Dom
    i appreciate 🙂

  • tim g says:

    good idea, however it seems to me that people simply will not be very willing to look and feel like a hamster, especially in public.

  • brstevens says:

    As a runner, there’s no way I’d use this. I run outdoors to be a part of nature. This thing prohibits that and is basically the same as running on a treadmill on a patio outside. If you wanted to construct it indoors to rid the world of power hogging treadmills I could see it, but I can’t imagine any runner having any interest in running on an outdoor hamster wheel, unless they want to check it out once to confirm how much they hate it.

  • Stubbs says:

    Hey Brstevens, the point here is to donate 30 minutes of your time TO HARVEST ENERGY. No one said you would have to get on it every day.

    That being said, why would there be “no way” you would use it? I didn’t realize runners had a binding code that prevented them from using their abilities for good. Go run with lions the other 6 days of the week.

  • brstevens says:

    Again, if this was meant to replace treadmills indoors I could see the utility. As an outdoor appliance? Not so much.

  • Nadim Inaty says:

    Guys i can totally see your point, and from your points of view i totally agree considering that you are in nature.
    this project was conceived for a city environment where there is not much to enjoy.
    people in the city go out and run in the street.
    this wheel was conceived to be placed in a sea side where you just usually go to enjoy the sunset. so i think that it makes sense in this case because the scenery is all the same all along the sea side.
    anyway i see your point and i appreciate you taking time to comment 🙂

  • Elphi says:

    At first I thought “what makes this more eco-friendly that regular running?” but then I saw the energy stuff and that is pretty darn cool. Incentive to run too!

  • matthew c says:

    This idea is very creative. I think that if there were some sort of home use prototype there would be alot of people interested. I would run a mile a day if it meant I didn’t have to pay for a electric bill.

  • Ranganathan says:

    I am doing a project based on your idea. I would like to ask you a few questions, in this regard. Please, if you would be kind enough to answer them?
    1)First, what would it cost to set it up, in gyms or public places, or the place that you intended it to?
    2)Have there been any improvements to your idea by yourself or someone else?
    3)Has it been tested somewhere or is there any place that they have started incorporating this and has become prominent?
    It would be kind of you to help us on this.

  • Ranganathan says:

    And also, I know there would be a specific reason that made you come up with the hamster wheel. But, would this technology be the same, if the apparatus just excluded the poly-carbonate tube? And also, would the running speed would be the same as the avg running speed in a treadmill (8km/hr) that generates 120 watt/hrs after a 30 min run?

  • Dear Nadim,,,trust you are well , first of all , it is a splendid Idea and nice architectural design .congratulations .
    secondly , is it possible to publish that design along your Biography in one of Eco- Dubai/UAE Magazines?I have an access to that media and I can promote it free .
    who knows , you might get funded for having it real on Dubai or Abu Dhabi Corniche and Parks 🙂
    thank you so much and all the best.

  • Megan says:

    This would be perfect with one change: Have the capsule enclosed so that it can be climate-controlled. That way, when it’s too hot or cold or windy or rainy to run outside, you don’t have to go run on a treadmill in the gym.

    Also, all machines in gyms should really be hooked up to power generators.

  • Wow cool, green energy is the future!

  • layton says:

    I like your Article I Don’t think so round running is possible.

  • Jimmy says:

    Awesome I’d love to have it.

  • Zpower says:

    Should you go all the way with this device I’d recommend making an all white version so you can project TV or movies in front of the runner. This would keep them running a little longer I’d imagine and even that unit could be powered by the wheel. This would be great in homes to help supplement energy and lower costs if even just a little. “But” it would have to be affordable enough to pay for its self over a not to long of a time and be easy to maintain (low cost). And to address the ‘runner falling’ issue you could perhaps install sensors (light beam/s) in the handles that would “slow to a stop” the wheel if broken (swipe your hand cross it). Just some thoughts. Great concept though, love it.

  • I am genuinely thankful to the owner of this site who has shared this great post at

  • Nadim Inaty says:

    Hi Quintin,
    you are right about the polycarbonate thing that maybe must be changed into a more durable securite glass in an outdoor space.
    as for the safety, we are using the two safety handle that when you pull down stops the wheel activity.
    thank you for commenting 🙂

  • Nadim Inaty says:

    Hi Brian,
    Thank you for the clarification, the advice and the link. I appreciate 🙂
    as for the “Hampster” spelling, it was Yanko who gave the name and wrote it.
    the project is called “Green Wheel”

  • Bob Cooper says:

    I am a freelance writer in the U.S. and I have the editor of a major magazine who may be interested in a story on the Green Wheel. Can you tell me if there have been any companies or investors who have come forward? I am wondering if you think this may be commercially available as soon as 2014.
    Bob Cooper

  • Hank says:

    I wonder how much will this cost? KY currently charges me 8.5 cents per KW. NO THIS IS NOT A JOKE OR A LIE.

  • Hank says:

    I wonder how much will this cost? KY currently charges me 8.5 cents per KW. NO THIS IS NOT A JOKE OR A LIE. I have looked into solar panels for my house. With the current rates applied and the current cost of solar panels to put onto my house, it will take me 22 YEARS to simply break even. If this voluntary human hamster wheel is totally voluntary, I would like you to write down a total complete breakdown of how much this would cost and how long it will take for this to start being a viable product within the community. Make sure you put down initial cost and WHERE the initial outlay is coming from.

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  • Sam says:

    Woho,Technology will make people more active😉. Really great that the world is now more aware of how we can produce electricity without harming the environment.

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