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Smart Power Rovers to Light Up New Year's Eve in Times Square

A couple weeks ago in Times Square, Duracell marked the opening of their Smart Power Lab by unveiling the newest design for their Power Rovers.

At this point, you might be wondering: What is a Smart Power Lab? And what are these Power Rovers? Well, as most people know, one of the biggest celebrations to happen in New York City is the dropping of the New Year’s Eve ball. No doubt a tremendous amount of electricity is used for this iconic event.

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The lab is home to the rovers, which are used by anyone wanting to give ‘em a go. As people pedal, the rovers generate electricity and store it to use on December 31 to light up the 2010 numerals once the ball completes its drop—so you can help play a major part in the festivities.

To kick off the launch of the new Power Rovers, the battery company invited celebrities to stop by a temporary outdoor stage where two rovers were on display. Two celebs “raced” each other in a playful competition to see who could garner the most voltage.

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200912-b-rachel-dratch-djpgSo who stopped by? While I was there, Rachel Dratch (Saturday Night Live—and yes, we did convince her to make the Debbie Downer frown!), Mark Indelicato (Ugly Betty), Kerry Butler (Tony Award nominee for Rock of Ages), Constantine Maroulis (American Idol and Tony Award nominee for Rock of Ages) and Larenz Tate (Rescue Me).

Powering the numerals this way may be a more eco-friendly/cost-effective means, but it is by no means a small feat. It will take around 166 hours to harvest the 32,000 watts of energy needed! The Duracell Smart Power Lab is open from 10 a.m. until 9 p.m. Sunday through Wednesday, but stays open until 11 p.m. Thursday through Saturday. It will be open to the public right up to the end of the year. (Note: it will close at 3 p.m. on Dec. 31.)

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So what are you waiting for? Get pedaling!

Joshua Pramis is an online associate editor at Travel + Leisure.

Photos courtesy of Joshua Pramis.

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