About this project
Less than 70 hours left!
My good friend, Mel C, loves the project so much she wanted to get involved:
We're also attracting the attention of some other major international artists. Check out the videos below of Maxi Jazz from Faithless and international superstar DJ Maya Jane Coles:
A musical instrument to transform lives.
I've developed a prototype musical instrument - a percussion shaker - that converts the energy from playing it into electricity. It's called SPARK.
SPARK enables people to generate electricity so that they can plug in a light or charge up a mobile phone, simply through having a music jam.
In places like Kenya, where 75% of the population live without access to electricity, having the ability to read at night or charge up a mobile phone gives people the chance of a better education and also access to services like the revolutionary mobile phone banking system, M-PESA.
I've tested the prototype with a number of different communities in Kenya and have proven it is incredibly useful to people. Children, teachers and village elders have all embraced it.
Now, I need your support to produce the products.
Make a pledge today and be a part of #ShakeYourPower!
Music is the motivation
I've been the percussionist with the band Faithless for 15 years, and I've often wondered whether the huge amounts of energy produced from playing at gigs could be harnessed and used.
I passionately believe we need to look at how to harness alternative sources of renewable energy that are good for people and the planet.
At it's heart this is a project about inter-dependence and togetherness; an invitation for all of us to rise up as guardians of nature and bring power to those who need it.
For me, this project is also about connecting people and bringing them together through music. Through the joy of playing music we can create something really useful, changing the world one beat and one shake at a time.
During testing, the people who used SPARK said it was useful because they had light in the evenings which they used for doing homework, household chores and for lighting their way home in the dark.
SPARK will enable children and their families to be safer by eliminating the need of kerosene for light for example, and by providing light for women and girls in areas where rape is a huge problem.
Through mobile phone charging, SPARK will enable children and their families to be connected. In rural Kenya, this is a real issue because families are often living far from shops, medical help, or banking services.
What comes next?
The first stage of the SPARK prototype has been made. I'm raising money to do three things:
- To take the prototype to the finished product
This includes researching and developing the materials, including investigating local Kenyan resources as well as recycled waste or plastic. I also want to add further energy harnessing techniques to get the maximum energy for the minimum shake.
Currently, 12 minutes of shaking gives an hour of light which can be stored in a battery. So if SPARK is played in a music lesson for example, it would provide light at home for a whole evening.
The technology of SPARK is capable of charging a mobile phone. The next stage is to add this feature to the existing prototype and to then take the finished product to manufacture.
- To manufacture and distribute the product
My aim is to distribute the finished product to all the schools and homes I visited on my trip to Kenya.
I need you to help me produce the first 1,000 shakers. That's 1,000 shakers which will bring light to 1,000 homes.
I also want to explore ways in which the shaker can be distributed throughout Africa and to other countries that don't have power and need it, as well as developing effective manufacturing and distribution channels to take the project to scale.
- To develop and test educational assembly kits
Equally important to me, is to develop and test educational assembly kits, which will allow school children to learn the technology around the shaker by building the component parts themselves and subsequently their own power. Children studying science, technology, engineering, and music will all benefit from the application that these kits show.
Once the initial 1,000 shakers are distributed and the kits are developed and tested, the next step is to distribute these kits to all schools in rural Kenya - that's to 75% of Kenyan schools.
Imagine the impact this will have if 75% of Kenyan children can understand how this technology works, can learn how to build it themselves, and can then take their product and use it at home!
I would like to raise enough funds to manufacture and distribute 1,000 shakers and to develop and test the educational assembly kits. I am asking for £50,000 to help me do this.
Spread the word
Help get the word out and make some noise about #ShakeYourPower!
- Tweet it, Facebook it, and forward the email that brought you here.
- Post it, blog about it and tell your friends.
- It's a musical instrument that generates enough kinetic energy to power a light or charge a phone #ShakeYourPower http://kck.st/1xCypFQ
- Help bring power to communities without electricity through the joy of music - #ShakeYourPower http://kck.st/1xCypFQ
- Sudha Kheterpal, percussionist for Faithless and the Spice Girls, is lighting up the world with music #ShakeYourPower http://kck.st/1xCypFQ
As SPARK is played, a magnet moves backwards and forwards through the centre of a solenoid, a coil of copper wire. A current is induced in the loops of wire and each time the magnet slides through, it charges up a rechargeable battery.
Because the energy is stored, SPARK can be played in the morning, then later during the day and again in the evening, for example. The user can plug in a light or charge up a mobile phone instantly or at a later time.
The concept of the shaker is based on the heart; the seat of power for the human body, a symbol of strength and courage and what connects us all as a global community.
The outside design of the shaker is based on the concept of a flint stone. It refers to new beginnings; to the initial spark caused by two flint stones contacting each other to give birth to a powerful new source of energy.
The main part of the research and development will take place here in the UK, and the testing will take place in both the UK and Kenya. I estimate that it will take 9 months for the shaker and the assembly kits to be ready for manufacture and distribution.
The #ShakeYourPower team
Sudha Kheterpal - Project Leader (@sudhaha)
Sudha is a ground-breaking Percussionist; the heartbeat of electronic band Faithless for 15 years, she has enjoyed huge global success. An artist who wears many hats (and not just the glittering cowboy hats for which she is widely recognised), her success has seen her featured as percussionist on records and tours with huge mainstream artists including Dido, The Spice Girls, Ian Brown, and Talvin Singh to name a few.
Diana Simpson Hernandez - Product Design (@Diansimpson)
Diana is a Mexico born designer based in London. She graduated from Central Saint Martins in 2010 before starting an MA in Design Products at the Royal College of Art. Diana's focus is now on issues around sustainability, materials and the cultural implications of these, and she is working on developing urban systems of collection and transformation of local waste into functional and higher value products. www.golondrinadesign.com
Milen Marinov - Engineer
Bulgarian born, Milen Marinov, has been interested in electronics from an early age. After studying Technical Electronics at high school, he went on to study Industrial Electronics at Marmara University, Turkey, after which he worked as an electronic technician for 6 years. He now runs his own consultancy, working for the likes of this project!
Ben Phelps - Engineers Without Borders UK (@EWBUKinnovation)
Ben volunteers with Engineers Without Borders UK and has helped #ShakeYourPower through its Innovation Hub programme. He has contributed to concept design work, and advised on ways to maximise the benefits of the project for communities. Ben currently works as an aerodynamicist at a large engineering company and graduated from the University of Cambridge in 2012 with a mechanical engineering degree.
Jess Tyrrell - Social impact (@jesstyrr)
Jess runs pro-social production company Germination, which has been at the heart of social change networks and ideas in the UK for the last 10 years. Experienced in bringing pro-social projects from idea to reality and having set up numerous businesses and ideas, she is currently leading a community co-design project with London’s tech city and local young people. www.germination.co.uk
Dr Glynn Ryland - Media
Glynn has worked in TV for over twenty years. With jobs such as Worldwide Creative Manager for Universal Studios networks, Creative Director for NBC channels and Head of Volunteering at the BBC, Glynn has now caught the nomadic lifestyle bug and is currently travelling around the world making short films about courageous people doing unique and inspiring things with their lives. www.glynngone.com
The Sophia Foundation For Children
Our work in Kenya would not have been possible without the incredible input from the Sophia Foundation for Children, particularly from Founder and Director, Marina Shacola. Driving us through Kenya and taking us around her schools and homes (as seen in the film and photos) to test the shaker, has allowed this project to go from a dream to reality. Big thanks to Nelly and Gerald. http://bit.ly/1xtQzK2
Run For Life, Canada
Founder and Programme Director, John (Popov) Carson made it possible for us to go and test the shaker at the the yearly Rift Valley Marathon near Eldoret - photos to come. With an off-grid athletes camp at over 7000ft above sea level, this is the place to come and train! If ever you fancy running with the fastest runners in the world as well as meeting a truly special person, get in touch with John. http://www.runforlife.ca/
Engineers Without Borders UK
Members of Engineers Without Borders UK - a volunteer-led international development charity - have engaged with #ShakeYourPower through its Innovation hub and provided design advice and guidance towards using the product as an educational tool. The Hub's overall aim is to maximise the impacts and benefits of these ideas in removing barriers to human development - in particular for those affected by global poverty. http://www.ewb-uk.org/
Risks and challenges
So far we have tested our prototypes by manually shaking at various intensities in our design studio. We will have to ensure that we find a way of standardising our products so that variability is limited when it comes to manufacturing at scale.
A quick learning curve began when we were stung for a heavy shipping tax on importing our prototypes to Kenya. We will have to make our materials very light and durable when we distribute internationally.
Right now, we have an idea but don't have an exact figure for how much our product will cost. We will need to make the shakers as cost effective as possible and will be looking for partners who can provide us with cheap component parts.
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