An MIT Alumni Association Publication

Soft Rocker--Get Your Charge On

  • Nancy DuVergne Smith
  • 3

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Soft rocker, a solar powered recharging station. Photo: Philip Ropert

The Soft Rocker is among the treasures spawned along with the MIT150 Festival of Art, Science, and Technology (FAST). Though it glowed on campus for only a few weeks this spring, its practical potential and shapely form persist.

The rocker is a solar-powered outdoor rocking lounger where you can both relax and recharge your electronics. Developed by MIT architecture students and led by Professor of Practice Sheila Kennedy, the furniture piece uses the human power of balance to create an interactive 1.5 axis, 35-watt solar tracking system.

The battery powers a strip of light tape that runs along the interior of the lounger.

The lounger uses a 12-ampere-hour battery storing the solar energy harvested during sunlight hours so you can charge gadgets even after sunset.

Learn more about the Soft Rocker project and team and about  Sheila Kennedy, an expert in the integration of solar cell technology in architecture. Kennedy uses 3-D modeling software to design with solar textiles, generating membrane-like surfaces that can become energy-efficient cladding for roofs or walls. Solar textiles may also be draped like curtains.

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Sat, 05/28/2011 10:48pm

A bunch of us think there should be a new alumni donor level at which you get a free Soft Rocker of your very own! :) Get the TLA office on this one!

Sheila Kennedy

Thu, 06/02/2011 3:25pm

thank you for your comments. i would like to get the TLO involved who do you recommend that i contact there? given the interest in the soft rockers my group would be glad to continue to refine the design so that it could be produced. (the prototypes were made in 2 months for the 150 FAST event) any leads on potential manufacturers would be greatly appreciated. best regards, sheila

but they have not been responsive. is there someone you know

have been trying to get the atention of TLO wihtout

In reply to by Susan


Fri, 05/27/2011 5:22pm

Is there one for sell? Do I get student discount if I want to buy one?