Energy Harvesting Shoes
Wearable energy harvesting during gait is an important potential avenue for powering the vast array of recently available wearable devices for clinical and recreational purposes, however current approaches either produce too little power to be useful or increase the human metabolic cost of gait thus preventing practical application. This project will investigate movement control, adaptation, and energy consumption to explore the scientific basis for a regenerative, smart shoe system for harvesting energy during gait based on the novel concepts of comprehensive human mechanical and metabolic energy estimation, gait change prediction, and horizontal foot sole slider energy harvesting. The research will be conducted based on technical theories and scientific experiments to investigate the following issues: human mechanical and metabolic energy gait model, gait change prediction model to convert negative work to positive work, and smart shoe regenerative harvester design. Three key problems are expected to be solved: unknown gait braking energy loss, converting negative work braking energy into positive work propulsion energy, and harvesting gait energy without increasing metabolic cost. A regenerative, smart shoe system prototype will be developed to demonstrate key research findings and gait testing will be performed to establish a scientific basic for practical application. The results of this study will provide a scientific foundation for energy harvesting research for powering wearable devices.
Energy Harvesting Sliding Shoe
Custom sliding shoe created by mounting a sliding mechanism to the sole of a standard walking shoe. Energy is harvested as the shoe slides during the stance phase of gait by the generator on the sliding mechanism. The compressed spring returns the sliding mechanism to the original position during swing phase when the shoe is not contacting the ground.