With collaboration of researchers from Queen Mary University London and the engineering team at city’s Thorpe Park Resort, a new ride named Walking Dead has been installed at the park that can power the smartphones of its riders by screaming loudly through newly installed devices.
All of the Walking Dead’s carriages have been fitted with the harvesting devices, which not only suck up the energy of screams but that from g-force and vibrations, too. The technology took three months to implement, from design to installation.
The screamometer part of The Walking Dead: The Ride. All of the ride’s carriages have been fitted with devices that contain kinetic energy harvesting technologyThorpe Park said: ‘If thrill-seekers are brave enough to open their eyes, they will see a set of LED lights in blood red powering up as guests’ screams become louder… throughout the spine-tingling 90-second experience.’
The 188mm x 188mm x 67mm device is jet black, ‘blending into its dark and mysterious surroundings on the roller coaster themed around the global TV phenomenon’.
Thorpe Park Resort’s John Burton, who came up with the ride concept, said: ‘The Walking Dead: The Ride is 15 out of 10 on the scare factor scale, so it makes sense to be able to combine and harness our visitors’ screams and the ride’s vibrations to help solve a problem each and every one of us face – losing the charge on our mobiles when we’re on a day out.’
Dr. Joe Briscoe, School of Engineering and Materials Science at the Queen Mary University of London, added: ‘Using vibrations and movement from The Walking Dead: The Ride has allowed us to harness the stray energy that is all around us.
“This is an exciting concept that will undoubtedly be used more frequently in the future. The system uses a mini energy harvester to capture the kinetic energy, transferring it to a separate electrical circuit and storage unit, which is enough to charge a mobile phone”
Thorpe Park’s divisional director, Dominic Jones explained: ‘in launching The Walking Dead: The Ride we want to ensure our guests are offered something they can’t get anywhere else.
‘Our new and exclusive immersive experience is hands down one of the most thrilling, terrifying and now intelligent on offer in the UK. Being chased by walkers is guaranteed to be quite literally spine-chilling.
It will be available at the theme park for an initial trial period. If this proves successful, the technology may become a permanent fixture for the remainder of the 2018 season.