Liquid metal shoes harvest future power

Energy Harvesting ShoesThis is the type of innovation that can really change the future. It’s exactly the type of tech that gets us excited at USREA.  Details courtesy of Instep Nanopower. Look for a detailed followup on these pages.

[excerpt] We’re tired of hearing vague promises about how our shoes will one day be able to power our gadgets, but this particular vague promise got our attention for two reasons: one, it involves liquid metal, and two, the amount of power that it can harvest from walking is ridiculously huge.
Most systems that harvest energy from movement use piezoelectrics. That’s fine, there’s nothing wrong with that, except that piezoelectrics generally produce power measured in milliwatts. Milliwats of power can potentially run low-power sensors, trickle charge a battery, or (if you’re lucky) run something like an iPod shuffle.

Researchers at UW-Madison have been working on an energy harvester that they say can deliver watts of power. And not just one or two watts, but up to 10 or 20.

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