Aug 252011

Scalable Output for Running?

“Reverse Electrowetting,” a phrase that conjures images of a robot peeing the bed backwards (Osaka University’s CB2, perhaps), is actually the process of generating electricity via, in this case, walking on electric shoe juice.  Which is pretty hott.

Not only could this power my phone, GPS, and A/C underwear, in theory such systems could be applied to a wide variety of energy-consuming devices including prosthetics, larger wearable robotics, and full-on exoskeletal human augmentation systems. AND, in developing countries where electrical infrastructure might be lacking, these shoes might be a nice peripheral for the OLPC!

I’m certainly hip to powering my technology with my physiology.  Go Wisconsin, go.


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  1. jon says:

    It’s an old idea, but it’s nice to see people coming back to it. I used to have a self-powered watch even when I was back in high-school. It had a little rotor that would generate electricity whenever you naturally moved your arm around, so it never needed a new battery! I never got to see how well it worked because it turned up missing after a year.

  2. Reno Tibke says:

    Hey Jon! Yeah, collecting ambient electricity is as old as Tesla, I think the fluidic component of this technology is the novel concept. Piezoelectric energy collection from various movements has also been proposed and implemented over the years, but output and collection has been difficult…

    And I need one of those watches.