A friend of mine in college once had a crazy idea to solve the American obesity crisis and alleviate global warming: encourage the obese to exercise and harness the energy created by their treadmills, ellipticals, cycling machines, etc. as an alternative energy source. The idea was a little unorthodox, but had a kernel of brilliance as well. Why not use human activity as an energy source?
Using power generated from human activity such as walking or jogging is not a new idea, but has previously required large, clunky equipment. Two researchers at the University of Wisconsin Madison, Tom Krupenkin and J Ashley Taylor, have been working on that issue, though, and have come up with an innovative and convenient way to harness human jogging power.
The Krupenkin & Taylor invention is a small liquid pouch that is inserted into the sole of a specially made shoe. The liquid in the pouch interacts with a nanostructure in order to produce an electric current – of around one kilowatt per square meter.
The researchers hope to eventually be able to hook these liquid pouches up to a hermetically sealed battery that can store up to 20 watts of power. 20 watts isn’t a huge amount, but it is a small step (or jog) in the right direction and can help power minor things, such as a smart phone or a radio.
Krupenkin and Taylor had the idea of inserting the device into army boots to power soldiers’ radios, infrared goggles, and other equipment while they are away from power sources.
This could also be very useful to hikers and campers who want to enjoy the great (electrical outlet-free) outdoors and still enjoy some modern conveniences.
Read more about exercising in the Middle East::
An Insider’s Experience of Exploring Beirut by Bike
Run the City Introduces a New Type of Israeli Eco Tourism
BeBeirut Offers Eco-Friendly Tours in Lebanon’s Capital
Image via: whologwhy