Professor Sheila Kennedy and architecture students at MIT has developed an interesting sun lounger with built-in solar recharger. They call it the SOFT rocker, which is an outdoor furniture that could be used as for study, while user can recharge their gadget.
The SOFT Rocker has an intergrated solar panel along the bent roof, and it’s connected to the base with with built-in rechargeable battery and USB ports. The battery is a 12-ampere hour battery, which is sufficient to provide juice for devices even after sunset.
This SOFT rocker also possible of using human power of balance to create 1.5 axis, 35 watt solar tracking system. When at night time, SOFT rocker has a built-in LED light system that looks very cool for park/yard/garden decoration.
The leaf-like loop form of the SOFT Rockers explores how standard softwood panels can be mass-customized to adapt to the latitude and sun angle of any site using parametric design software and automated fabrication with a lightweight Kuka robotic arm. The SOFT Rocker combines hi-tech and low-tech design strategies: it produces electricity but engages the body and works like furniture “by hand”; it mixes sun tracking and social dynamics; it is a site specific object and a flexible form family of ‘soft’ wood construction. The SOFT Rocker blurs distinctions between pleasure and work and recasts power generation as an integrated and distributed public activity rather than a centralized, singular off-site project of engineering.