InStep NanoPower, in collaboration with
Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia
University of Wisconsin
has developed an inexpensive simple high-power energy harvester capable
of converting mechanical energy into electrical power , which can dramatically extend the capabilities
and operational time of a broad range of mobile electronic devices. The mechanical energy is directly
converted to electrical energy by a revolutionary new method developed by InStep NanoPower researchers.
One of 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 shown below.
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.