Chilling, chatting, charging: Polish employee Aleksandra Rzepka enjoys a break.

Gliwice Employees Design Smart Solar Bench

Rafał Górniak and Grzegorz Smołka are Test Engineers – but for their latest project, the two colleagues, who have each been working in Gliwice for 12 years, forged entirely new paths. As a consequence, the project results do not necessarily correspond to what you’d expect from quality experts working for an automotive manufacturer. Górniak and Smołka developed and built two smart seats for the outdoor area of an Opel site in Upper Silesia.

Smart seat

To be precise, they created park benches that enable Internet access as well as environmentally-friendly smartphone charging through built-in solar modules. “Our supervisors regularly encourage us to pursue projects that aren’t directly related to our everyday work,” reports Górniak. The two inventors drew technical inspiration for their project from the Silesian University of Technology in Gliwice, Poland.

Although similar benches that draw on the principle of the Internet of Things have already been around for a few years, “We wanted to give our seats an Opel touch,” says Smołka. “We also wanted to show that it’s a good thing to branch out every now and then.”

Rafał Górniak (left) and Grzegorz Smołka on one of the solar benches they designed on the Gliwice plant grounds.


August 2017