It is the dream of many to be able to charge mobile gadgets during an ordinary walk without having any discomfort. And it seems that American scientists are very close to solving this problem. They have created footwear that can charge any gadget.
Senior researchers J. Ashley Taylor and Tom Krupenkin from the University of Wisconsin-Madison have made a real breakthrough in the field of charging mobile devices with kinetic energy. The scientists have developed an innovative shoe sole with an integrated generator of kinetic energy. The main feature of the project is that the “sole” uses a fundamentally new mechanism for generating electricity.
As part of their project, the researchers have tried to develop a fundamentally new and radically different method for converting mechanical energy into kinetic energy. Preliminary calculations showed that human walking is capable of producing 10-20 watts of power. The scientists concentrated on direct energy conversion. The project is based on Tom Krupenkin’s scientific research on kinetic energy, which was published as early as 2011.
Thanks to the research, the engineers were able to create a device that they called «bubbler». This electromechanical device, inserted into the sole, was able to solve the main problem of such gadgets – too low energy potential of the human walk. In other words, the device does not need to use the “initial electricity charge” to begin the conversion of mechanical energy into kinetic energy.
Experimental soles are currently giving 10-15 watts of electricity. This is more than enough to recharge batteries of mobile gadgets. Scientists do not exclude the fact that their development can be applied in the field of defense, in sports, as well as for the creation of gadgets in developing countries. At the moment, the new shoes need to be finalized. In the nearest future, the research team intends to start searching for commercial partners to manufacture the new invention.