Student Work

  • Product Design (BFA)

    Yogita Agrawal


    Jhoule is a locally manufacturable, motion-powered device that provides a self-reliant source of energy and light for off-grid communities in Chhattisgarh, India.Jhoule, a fusion of the words Jhool (Hindi: “to swing”) and Joule (unit of energy), is a wearable device which, when hooked or strapped between the body frame and a moving limb (for example, the waist and an ankle), harnesses the energy from the swinging action of the leg (for example, while walking) to drive a dynamo and charge a battery. The energy harvested during the day is stored and used to power the embedded LEDs, providing an additional 3-4 hours of light after the sun sets. During a person’s commute home, Jhoule can be strapped across his or her chest, and the light can be diffused and used as an indicator to make the user visible to oncoming traffic in the absence of streetlights. At home, Jhoule can be suspended from of a nail in the wall and the LED can be used at its full brightness to allow children to study longer, food to be cooked in a hygienic manner, and the family to bond. Jhoule has been designed as a culturally organic product that involves local communities in the product’s ecosystem. The casing and the hooks are made of aluminum and brass, respectively, because of the local abundance of these materials and the familiarity of the community with their fabrication techniques. By manufacturing Jhoule locally, employment opportunities will be created in villages. Some components, such as the diffuser, bead, tassel and strap to wear the hook, have been left open to user customization, as to allow assimilation of craft skills and desires of the local communities and to give them a sense of ownership of the product.