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Micromachines 2018, 9(5), 244; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi9050244

Energy Harvesting Combat Boot for Satellite Positioning

1
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 77 Massachusetts Ave., 1-306, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA
2
Singapore University of Technology and Design, 8 Somapah Rd., Singapore 487372, Singapore
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 3 April 2018 / Revised: 7 May 2018 / Accepted: 11 May 2018 / Published: 17 May 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microsystems for Power, Energy, and Actuation)
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Abstract

Most portable electronic devices are power-limited by battery capacity, and recharging these batteries often interrupts the user’s experience with the device. The product presented in this paper provides an alternative to powering portables by converting regular human walking motion to electricity. The device harvests electric power using air bulbs, distributed in the sole of a shoe to drive a series of micro-turbines connected to small DC motors. The number and position of air bulbs is optimized to harvest the maximum airflow from each foot-strike. The system is designed to continuously drive the micro-turbines by utilizing both outflow and inflow from the air bulbs. A prototype combat boot was fitted on the right foot of a 75 kg test subject, and produced an average continuous power on the order of 10 s of mW over a 22 Ω load during walking at 3.0 mph. This combat boot provides enough electric power to a passive GPS tracker that periodically relays geographical coordinates to a smartphone via satellite without battery replacement. View Full-Text
Keywords: energy harvesting; GPS-equipped footwear; micro turbines; foot-step driven airflow energy harvesting; GPS-equipped footwear; micro turbines; foot-step driven airflow
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Akay, H.; Xu, R.; Han, D.C.X.; Teo, T.H.; Kim, S.-G. Energy Harvesting Combat Boot for Satellite Positioning. Micromachines 2018, 9, 244.

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