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Published on : Jul 15, 2019

If you are an ardent traveler, then you never shy away from walking miles to explore new places. While we invest substantial energy to move around, little did we know that our footsteps could not only keep us, but also our phones going. Here's backpack that claims to generate electricity from your movements. 

A pair of scientists from the Mechanical and Materials Engineering and Ingenuity Labs at the University of Queens has developed it. The backpack harnesses energy from side-to-side walking of a person. Further, this research is published in the Royal Society Open Science Journal. Further, developers Quingguo Li and Paul Martin explain their model in the research paper.

Humans can carry or attach biomechanical energy harvesting devices to them. And, these devices can harness energy from the walking movements to produce electricity. However, for long until this finding, previous attempts to harness energy from movements, did not yield promising results. 

In this research, scientists identify the problem and attempt to resolve it. As a result, they develop an energy harnesser that generates enough electricity to charge a small device. The model is a backpack that captures energy from side to side body movement and converts it into electricity.

How Does it Work? 

The device involves a weight connected to the top half of a pendulum. And, the pendulum swings back and forth as the person walks and the connected weight gives it momentum. The lower half of the pendulum has springs on either sides of the device. Further, the researchers connected energy harnessing module to these springs. Then, they place the complete system in a frame that fits in a backpack. 

The developers used devices with different sizes to generate varying amounts of energy. So, researchers added more weight at the top half of the pendulum. The findings  claim that a device with 20-pound weight, the backpack generates electricity enough to charge a GPS handset or an emergency beacon. Also, developers note that the combined weight of the backpack and the device adds around 11 pounds more. With the additional 35 pounds, the researchers claim that the device can produce enough electricity to charge a smartphone.