The day of charging cellphones with finger swipes and powering Bluetooth headsets simply by walking is now much closer.

Michigan State University engineering researchers have created a new way to harvest energy from human motion, using a film-like device that actually can be folded to create more power.

With the low-cost device, known as a nanogenerator, the scientists successfully operated an LCD touch screen, a bank of 20 LED lights and a flexible keyboard, all with a simple touching or pressing motion and without the aid of a battery (click the respective links to see a short video of each demonstration). 

The groundbreaking findings, published in the journal Nano Energy suggest “we’re on the path toward wearable devices powered by human motion,” said Nelson Sepulveda, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering and lead investigator of the project.

Currently Dr. Sepulveda and his team are developing technology that would transmit the power generated from the heel strike to, say, a wireless headset. 

Contributors to the study included MSU doctoral students Wei Li, David Torres and Tongyu Wang, as well as Chuan Wang, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering. 

WKAR recently chatted with Dr. Sepúlveda, on the tricky business of FENG: http://wkar.org/post/sir-isaac-newton-20-body-motion-might-one-day-become-power-pack#stream/0

 

See more at:  

https://www.egr.msu.edu/news/2016/12/09/human-powered-wearables

http://msutoday.msu.edu/news/2016/flexible-device-captures-energy-from-human-motion/