Solar Chair Produces Energy While You Chill

Soft rock is all the rage these days on the MIT campus–SOFT Rockers, that is, a functional art installation by the institute’s school of architecture students, led by professor Sheila Kennedy.

Designboom reports that these solar powered outdoor loungers use the power of human balance to orient at an optimal angle to the sun. While you recline in the shade of this unique, tear-drop-shaped chair, the solar panels on top soak up the sun, offering talk-time and charging for your cell phone and other portable electronics.

SOFT Rocker

image via Designboom

The SOFT Rocker design explores how standard softwood panels can be mass-customized to adapt to the latitude and sun angle of any site using parametric design software and automated fabrication in conjunction with a lightweight Kuka robotic arm (that’s the tech that uses your body weight to orient the SOFT Rocker to the sun).

According to MIT, the SOFT Rocker combines hi-tech and low-tech design strategies by integrating the production of energy–something that’s usually accomplished out of site, via engineering–into the everyday functionality of furniture, bringing together technology and social dynamics.

Susan DeFreitas has covered all manner of green technology for EarthTechling since 2009. She is a graduate of Prescott College for the Liberal Arts and the Environment, and has a background in marketing green businesses. Her work on green living has been featured in Yes! Magazine, the Utne Reader and Natural Home.


  • Reply May 16, 2011


    u00a0Really great innovation with solar panels. It a really great place to relax and have a peace of mind. See what solar panels could do? It really has that many advantages and benefits. Lets go green all the way.nnGreat post, keep sharing.

  • Reply May 18, 2011


    u00a0What a great idea! I did not imagine that it could be so relaxing. It also has a cool design. Thats what solar power could do. It can make you feel comfortable all the way, relax, rest and have you peace of mind.ntear-drop-shaped chair with solar panels on the top, thats what you called creativity. It would be a big help for students that are pressured to take a sit and relax here.nnGreat post.

  • Reply December 30, 2011


    great design!! nu00a0

Leave a Reply