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.
In this new Design News feature, "How it Works," we’re starting off by examining the inner workings of the electronic cigarette. While e-cigarettes seemed like a gimmick just two or three years ago, they’re catching fire -- so to speak. Sales topped $1 billion last year and are set to hit $10 billion by 2017. Cigarette companies are fighting back by buying up e-cigarette manufacturers.
Advertised as the "Most Powerful Tablet Under $100," the Kindle Fire HD 6 was too tempting for the team at iFixit to pass up. Join us to find out if inexpensive means cheap, irreparable, or just down right economical. It's teardown time!
The increased adoption of wireless technology for mission-critical applications has revved up the global market for dynamic electronic general purpose (GP) test equipment. As the link between cloud networks and devices -- smartphones, tablets, and notebooks -- results in more complex devices under test, the demand for radio frequency test equipment is starting to intensify.
Much of the research on lithium-ion batteries is focused on how to make the batteries charge more quickly and last longer than they currently do, work that would significantly improve the experience of mobile device users, as well EV and hybrid car drivers. Researchers in Singapore have come up with what seems like the best solution so far -- a battery that can recharge itself in mere minutes and has a potential lifespan of 20 years.
Some humanoid walking robots are also good at running, balancing, and coordinated movements in group settings. Several of our sports robots have won regional or worldwide acclaim in the RoboCup soccer World Cup, or FIRST Robotics competitions. Others include the world's first hockey-playing robot and a trash-talking Scrabble player.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.