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DIT student engineers a novel way to exercise

Posted: 2 August, 2017

Ronan Byrne, a 21-year-old DIT engineering student from Rathcoole, was struggling to motivate himself at the gym when he came up with the idea of Cycflix.

Cycflix: Exercise Powered Entertainment

The project allows a user to combine their love of Netflix with their exercise routine by hooking up a stationary bike to their streaming account so that it will only play if they stick to their fitness routine.

Ronan explained his inspiration for Cycflix, “I had the bike lying around and have been wanting to start on a new project. In the past year, whenever I forced myself to get back into the gym I would be OK for a few weeks then get bored, I was hoping this would make exercising less boring.”

And so he set to work building Cycflix by installing a microcontroller (Arduino) on the bike, which tracks the workout and sends the information to the PC controlling the Netflix account. If the user goes too slow they will get a warning, if they continue going too slow, Netflix will pause until they get back up to speed.

Ronan was blown away by the attention Cycflix received with international tech blogs such as Mashable and TechCrunch featuring his idea, something he believes bodes well for his future. “I'm studying Electrical and Electronic Engineering in DIT, going into 4th year this September. Right now, I'm in work placement in an Internet of Things (IoT) company called Firmwave. After college, I'd like to work in IoT or medical devices (or anything using microcontrollers), but who knows I might continue with this idea and see where that takes me.”

See how Cycflix works on Ronan's YouTube channel and you can read about his other projects on his blog.