The Autodesk Gallery at One Market in San Francisco celebrates design - the process of taking a great idea and turning it into a reality. With more than 20 different exhibits regularly on display that showcase the innovative work of Autodesk customers, the gallery illustrates the role technology plays in great design and engineering. I am one of about 50 gallery ambassadors. As I have mentioned before, we chose the job title "ambassador" instead of "docent," because the correct way to address an ambassador is "your Excellency" yet this never happens.
A new exhibit, The SOCCKET, has garnered lots of attention.
- Unchartered Play // more
- Autodesk Inventor // more
The SOCCKET has very humble beginnings. Uncharted Play got its start in 2008 when Jessica O. Matthews and Julia Silverman met during their junior year at Harvard College. Both were studying to be social scientists and had no experience in engineering. Despite this, they worked together on a class project to invent the SOCCKET — an energy harnessing soccer ball.
With soccer being the most popular sport in the world, their idea has real kinetic potential. Their target market is poverty-stricken areas of the world that do not have access to electricity. The premise is simple: Children kick the ball around for 30 minutes, and it stores enough energy to power an LED reading light for 3 hours. With obesity being what it is in areas of the world with electricity, perhaps all parents should make this a requirement for their school-age children? "Now put down that video controller, and go outside and kick the ball around for a half hour, so you will have enough light to do your homework tonight."
Unchartered Play is a member of Autodesk Clean Tech Partner Program. Using Autodesk Inventor, the team completely redesigned the pendulum mechanism used to harness energy. The original design was prone to breakage. The SOCCKET is in its fourth iteration and features a puncture-proof exterior with a lightweight, high-density foam that surrounds the mechanism. The original design had air pockets. The design has come a long way since the initial prototype that was based on a hamster wheel and shake-powered flashlight (the kind people keep in the trunks of their cars for emergencies).
Some people have crooned "I get no kick from champagne, but I get a kick out of you." Here's to you Unchartered Play. Learn more about The SOCCKET on Buzzfeed. The gallery at One Market is open to the public on Wednesdays from 12 pm to 5 pm, and admission is free. Visit us.
Kicking is alive in the lab.