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Smart-City Technology Harvests Energy From Footsteps

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JimT@Future-Product-Innovations
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A related Thought on the "Power of Crowds"
JimT@Future-Product-Innovations   4/25/2013 12:14:23 AM
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One final and  very interesting point, Elizabeth; maybe you could post a new report on this [related] topic:  After reading how a crowd of thousands could be harnessed to generate electricity, it reminded me of another article where a crowd was harnessed to collectively "think" and solve complex scientific problems, in game-playing format.  The boundary conditions of the problems are defined as the "rules" and considering possible solutions is the "game".  Click the link to see how Carnegie Mellon's Computer scientist Adrien Treuille created and launched two such problem solving games, Fold-It, and EteRNA. I was absolutely awed and inspired by this story -- maybe you can share it with the Design News readers.

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/tech/adrien-treuille.html then click [ LAUNCH VIDEO ]

Thanks Elizabeth.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: How's this on the feet?
Rob Spiegel   4/25/2013 5:19:48 AM
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You're right about softer surfaces being easier on the bones, Elizabeth. One of the suggestions for running training is to train on grass -- because it's easier on the bones and joints while tough on the muscles -- and doing the race on concrete where you get your speed.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: How's this on the feet?
Rob Spiegel   4/25/2013 11:42:22 AM
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Hey, ScotCan, do you know if this material is getting deployed anywhere yet? If so, is the energy capture significant?

ScotCan
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Re: How's this on the feet?
ScotCan   4/25/2013 12:02:10 PM
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Hi Rob, the last paragraph in the article suggested that the system generated enough power to run lights for 5 hours when installed outside a subway station in the United Kingdom. We are proposing a Proof of Concept on part of a jogging track in a local health & wellness center for evaluation purposes. A figure of 8 watts per foot step is mentioned. 

Rob Spiegel
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Re: How's this on the feet?
Rob Spiegel   4/25/2013 6:50:10 PM
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A jogging track is a good application for this technology, ScotCan. You just have to make sure you have joggers on the track. I've seen a lot of unused jogging tracks.

bobjengr
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Smart - City Energy
bobjengr   4/25/2013 7:36:46 PM
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Very informative.   Elizabeth is this technology similar to piezoelectric devices or is there another mechanism by which the energy is generated?  Also, do you have any additional information on storage? 

Elizabeth M
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Re: Smart - City Energy
Elizabeth M   4/26/2013 5:27:11 AM
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Hi,, bobjengr, the company was being a bit scant on details about how the technology works for proprietary reasons. I'm not sure offhand about storage but perhaps there is info on the company's website? http://www.pavegen.com/

Elizabeth M
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Re: How's this on the feet?
Elizabeth M   4/26/2013 5:49:43 AM
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I agree, Rob, but you're right, you have to have joggers on the tracks to see how the technology is working. I did sort of imagine it would be like the technology you find on those types of tracks, though. Maybe it would be good on some kind of university track, where they have running teams practicing and hosting events.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: How's this on the feet?
Rob Spiegel   4/26/2013 11:40:54 AM
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That's a good idea, Elizabeth. Those runners are consistent. It's interesting the wide range of energy technology that's appearing these days. And these new energy sources are coming with technology to back it up. It's no longer just a dream.

Charles Murray
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Re: Smart - City Energy
Charles Murray   4/26/2013 5:55:19 PM
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I saw a similar technology developed at Purdue a few years ago, bobjengr. It used piezo technology, but I don't know if this one did, too. We may now be reaching a point where developers are going to provide scarce detail, as Liz points out.

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