A pair of researchers with the Mechanical and Materials Engineering and Ingenuity Labs at Queen’s University has designed a backpack that harnesses the energy from the side-to-side movement of a person walking. In their paper published in Royal Society Open Science, Jean-Paul Martin and Qingguo Li describe their design and the ways they believe it could be used.
Biomechanical energy harvesters are devices that are attached to or carried by humans and generate electricity by harvesting energy from movements. Some examples include devices that are attached to shoes or even a shirt. Such devices have thus far not been able to produce enough electricity to be useful, however. In this new effort, the researchers sought to create a harvester that can produce enough electricity to power a small device. The result of their efforts is a backpack that captures energy from a body swaying from side to side, which is what happens when a person is walking.
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