Thorpe Park has announced that its new attraction, The Walking Dead: The Ride, is the first-ever rollercoaster that can charge mobile phones with the vibrations from the ride and the screams of its guests.
This new addition comes as a result of the reveal that running out of battery on phones is the greatest fear for 68 percent of millennials.
The trains on The Walking Dead: The Ride hold devices that contain kinetic energy harvesting technology, and captures the energy from the vibrations and g-forces of the ride, as well as guests’ screams. The devices then convert that kinetic energy into electrical energy, which is stored in a power management unit throughout the day. The unit is then moved by staff and taken to the on-site mobile charging station, where guests can charge up their phones.
“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 faces; losing the charge on our mobiles when we’re on a day out,” said John Burton, the Thorpe Park Resort’s Creative who came up with the ride concept.
If riders are brave enough to open their eyes on the ride, they can see a set of blood red LED lights powering up as their screams become louder and the ride travels through the 90-second experience.
Designed and installed by researchers at Queen Mary University London and the engineering team at Thorpe Park Resort, the energy harvesting technology took three months to implement. It will be available at the theme park for an initial trial period, and may become a permanent addition for the remainder of the 2018 season if successful.
“Using vibrations and movement from The Walking Dead: The Ride has allowed us to harness the stray energy that is all around us,” said Dr. Joe Briscoe, School of Engineering and Materials Science at Queen Mary University of London. “This is an exciting concept that will undoubtedly be used more frequently in the future. The system uses a mini energy harvester to capture kinetic energy, transferring it to a separate electrical circuit and storage unit, which is enough to charge a mobile phone.”
For more information on The Walking Dead: The Ride at Thorpe Park Resort, visit ThorpePark.com. Check out the video from the opening of the coaster below: