German smart shoe generates energy

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By Rachel Maniquis

Researchers from Schwenningen, Germany have created a shoe that generates energy from walking. Their goal is to create a product that is strong enough to power portable electronic sensors without batteries.

Still in the early phases of development, the energy being generated during test runs is not strong enough to charge the likes of a smartphone yet. The shoe contains an internal device made up of two parts, named after the action that causes them to produce energy. One of the parts is called the “shock harvester”, which generates power when the heel hits the ground, and the other is called the “swing harvester” which generates power while the foot is swinging in motion.

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Energy is harvested by movement between magnets and coils / Image:

The movement between the device’s magnets and coils is what produces the energy.

According to an article from BBC News, Klevis Ylli, a researcher from HSG-IMIT research center in Villingen-Schwenningen, Germany, stated:

Some approaches of the past for example have tried to use a lever underneath the shoe to power a gear box and an electric generator as used in some electric torches. They could generate up to 250 mW, but were huge, heavy and had parts protruding from the shoe. Generated power scales with size, but if you want to be able to reasonably integrate such a device within a shoe sole, you have to work with strict constraints, like a small height and limited length of the device.”

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A smart shoe that generates energy from walking / Image:

An incredibly innovative idea, this smart shoe could change the way we look at walking all over the globe.

Image credits: BBC News

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