InStep NanoPower have developed an inexpensive simple high-power energy harvester capable of converting mechanical energy to electrical power providing up to 20 Watts, which can dramatically extend the capabilities and operational times of a wide range of mobile electronic devices. The mechanical energy is converted to electrical energy by a novel microfluidic device through the interaction of thousands of liquid microdroplets with a groundbreaking nanostructured substrate. The most promising application of this technology is to harvest the mechanical energy produced by humans during walking. To capture this energy, which is normally simply lost as heat, the energy harvester and energy storage unit can be easily incorporated in footwear as depicted in the illustration above.

      We have also designed a novel energy management system, which allows direct utilization of the generated energy by common mobile devices such as smartphones and does not require connecting wires or mobile device modification. In particular, the integrated Wi-Fi hot spot can act as a “middleman” between mobile devices and a wireless network. Such an arrangement dramatically reduces power consumption of wireless mobile devices and allows them to operate for much longer time without battery recharge.

      The potential market for this technology is very broad and includes both civilian and military segments with the total value over $ 17,000 M.