A scientist from the U.S. Army has recently invented a shoe insole with an embedded energy-harvesting mechanism that produces energy with every step.
The patent-pending technology is available via license agreement to companies that would make, use, or sell it commercially.
Electronic devices have a wide variety of uses and applications in modern society. These devices require electrical energy to function. For some, this energy is derived from a battery. As the devices are used, the battery level lowers and ultimately reaches a level so low that the electronic device no longer functions without a new battery, which can be expensive and cumbersome, or the battery being recharged.
A need exists for a way to efficiently recharge batteries. In response, an Army scientist has developed a technique to convert movement from a heel strike into a rotational movement. This rotational movement causes the interior of an electrical generator to rotate, which causes electricity to be produced. The electricity generated can be used to charge a battery.
Designed to fit within a shoe insole, the system receives pressure from a downward step or heel strike. A rack and pinion system converts the heel strike into a rotational movement, which ultimately produces energy. The rack and pinion gear can be in line. As the rack moves, the pinion gear rotates. When the pinion gear experiences a rotation, the coupling mechanism rotates. The rotation of the coupling mechanism causes rotation of the electrical generator such that electricity is produced. The pinion gear can have a variable gear ratio so that the gear ratio is lower at a start to overcome initial resting inertia and increases so the gear ratio is higher toward an end of the rotation to maximize speed.
- Lightweight and long-lasting
- Converts natural movements into usable energy
- Provides continuous power in any environment
- Generates clean, renewable energy
- Businesses can commercialize the technology by licensing U.S. Patent 10,499,703 (and two pending patents) from the Army
- License fees paid to the Army are negotiable
- Businesses that license the technology may have the opportunity to pursue collaborative research with the inventor
- Testing data may be available to companies evaluating the technology
- TechLink guides businesses through evaluation and licensing; services provided at no cost
Articles & Downloads
- U.S. Patent 10,499,703 "Shoe Insole and Generator"
- U.S. Patent App. 16/550,333 "Wearable Planetary Gear Configuration"
- U.S. Patent App. 16/550,332 "Clutch/Brake Footwear System"
- U.S. Patent App. 16/550,335 "Generator Spinning in a Wearable System"
- U.S. Patent App. 16/550,329 "Ankle Movement Capture and Conversion into Energy"
- U.S. Patent App. 15/827,301 "Rotation of Pinion Gear"