Shoes are part of our everyday life. They help us move from point to point but never imagined we can use it to harvest energy. Dr. Ville Kaajakari, assistant professor of electrical engineering at Louisiana Tech University has developed a technology that harvests power from small generator embedded in your shoe.
Kaajakari’s innovative idea is based on regulating new voltage circuits that converts piezoelectric charge into usable voltage and harvest energy for charging batteries to power devices.
This technology could benefit hikers that need spare energy to power up their devices. They just need to harvest energy from their shoe. One goal also is to power up portable devices without using wasteful batteries which we all know the impact of disposable batteries in nature.
According to one of the article of MEMS Investor Journal, where the technology is being featured, energy harvesting is an attractive way to power MEMS sensors and locator devices like GPS. However, this idea often falls short since today’s applications required higher level of power.
The innovator used a low-cost polymer transducer with metalized surface for electric contact. This soft generator matches the properties of a regular shoe fillings. This means that regular heel shocks can be replaced with the transducer without loss of user experience.