Smart-City Technology Harvests Energy From Footsteps
These tiles can harvest energy -- up to 8 watts per footstep -- that can be stored and used to power streetlights or other infrastructure in urban areas where there is significant footfall. (Source: Pavegen)
If these tiles are able to recover that much energy per footstep then it must be taking more effort to walk on them, since the energy can only be coming from one source, the walkers. While running on "bouncy" ground is more comfortable it does take more effort. Captured energy has to come from someplace, after all.
Another interesting thought is that if the sidewalk tiles communicate with something else they could probably serve to notify somebody that people are walking past, which might be a law enforcement concern if people were detected walking in some areas late at night.
Elizabeth –Your point of "high-profile" installations, while still being in relative infancy is precisely what piqued my interest. As this was your article, I trust you also have them on YOUR radar --- so do you have any information for small investors getting on this band-wagon-?
Another good point, Rob. The tiles also could be good for the waistline! Although like I said, I don't think it's going to be too much give. I actually think it could be quite a nice cushion for the feet. When I used to run a lot, I liked running on sponge-like surfaces as opposed to concrete. It was quite nice to take that pressure off the joints.
Yes, Jim, you're right that there are proprietary rights here, and the company did not want to divulge too much information about how the tiles were engineered, as they are still in the early stages of technological development. I'm sure you won't hear the last about this technology, though, so stay tuned for more. I do think it's quite innovative and has great potential, and with the high-profile installations that already have been done, I think it can only get better.
Debera – I've also seen those devices that were designed to provide power from footsteps. But each of them (I've seen several) always provided power to the individual, supplying partial power for the various appliances you mention, "on the body".
This idea shifts the paradigm to a much broader target market. Using literally millions of pedestrians to power municipalities' needs. Interesting how a simple change of perspective changes this "existing" concept into something new.
Reminds me of something Mr. Spock once said: "comparing the needs of the one to the needs of the many".
I often am skeptical about the real potential for new ideas to go platinum, (so to speak), but I agree -- O'Hare terminal, or the Manhattan sidewalk are energy sources just waiting to be harnessed. So, while there were many engineering points not clarified, I accept that's their proprietary right as the technology is being developed. I decided to dig a little deeper; not so much to investigate the technology, but more to see how I could invest in it. I learned they are still privately funded, but I'm going to put them on my radar. ( I missed DSL in the 90's and 3DP in the 2000's). This could be huge.
I think there would have to be some give in order to generate the energy. A little give may not be a walking problem. Actually a little give will help walkers burn more calories, much like running in sand, but not to that extreme.
Other than this tile technology i have come across a japenese shoe technology as well which helps to generate electricity . The shoe looks like a sandal with a watery cushioned sole inside it when you put weight on it the water sloshes to generate power ,Generator attached to each pair helps convert the power into electric energy which helps to juice up your ipod or any electronic device .
Robots that walk have come a long way from simple barebones walking machines or pairs of legs without an upper body and head. Much of the research these days focuses on making more humanoid robots. But they are not all created equal.
The IEEE Computer Society has named the top 10 trends for 2014. You can expect the convergence of cloud computing and mobile devices, advances in health care data and devices, as well as privacy issues in social media to make the headlines. And 3D printing came out of nowhere to make a big splash.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.