Are you wheel?’s Exciting R2B2 Electricity-Free Kitchen Control Panel Prototype

Talk about going back to the future. The new R2B2 prototype by the forward thinking folks at Are you wheel? is a kitchen countertop of handsome wood, an ingenious electricity-free mechanical device, a versatile multi-pronged approach and potential solution to the problems of kitchen clutter—the unaccountable accretion of useless “stuff,” the wasteful and ineffectual “automation” that drives the core of so many Western households. If I’m getting carried away, it’s only because I’m rather taken with the concept. The latter, in a nutshell, is reverting to a turn-of-the-century (that’s 20th rather than 21st) ethos about powering appliances. R2B2—with the help of impressive innovations in materials science and nearly friction-free mechanics—can free your kitchen from the tyranny of coal-powered electricity and (re)-introduce the liberty of the leg.

R2B2 prototype. Designed by Christopher Thetard for Are you wheel?.

Mere Muscle Powers R2B2’s Blender, Mixer, and Grinder

Credit designer Christopher Thetard with the concept. Beneath the handsome countertop resides R2B2’s large, impeccably polished—and beautiful, I might add—flywheel, which, with the help of some easy pedal pushing, harnesses momentum and torque to turn the aforementioned appliances. Though it may seem unlikely that said apparati could be on a powerful par with their electrified counterparts, Are you wheel ensures us that, yes, they are: “smart transmission ratios and different gears enable more than 10,000 rotations per minute. Chopping herbs, grating cheese or mixing cocktails can be accomplished with a few pedal kicks only, in an unexpectedly silent way.”

Not that silence wouldn’t be a welcome addition to the kitchen environs, but R2B2’s prime selling card is its energy-efficiency. And don’t believe this achievement comes with the price of superfluous space. R2B2 houses beneath its sleek surface a clever bank of niches and small sliding drawers. And the mounting points for the appliances include cutout pieces that fill the small voids, thus keeping the surface smooth and continuous for prep.

Kitchen Control Panel
Kitchen Control Panel

Via CoolHunting.

About the Manufacturer: Are you wheel’s ambitious project to de-electrify the kitchen began with a stark realization: “Each year the amount of electronic junk is enlarged by an additional 50 million tons worldwide. Most of the electronic devices can be found in everyone‘s household, especially in kitchens.” The prototype called R2B2 intends to staunch this junky and disposable hemorrhage by replacing them with a single device that is countertop, storage, and human-powered control panel in one. The piece and the company are driven by the desire to create a sustainable and independent domestic environment—in the kitchen and in the country at large: “Our dream is to make kitchen and other household devices in the future more friendly to the environment and independent from electricity worldwide.”

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