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Capturing the Power of Trillions of www.filmusa.org Footfalls


Elizabeth Redmond, 23, dreams of working at MIT’s Media Lab, one of the United States’ top scientific research and the best choice levitra pfizer 50 mg development centers. However, she has invented something that should make MIT and every other “think tank” in the country dream of her.

Elizabeth invented the POWERleap, a simple idea with brilliant applications. It’s a flooring system that generates electricity every time you move on one of the tiles. Elizabeth developed the touchstoneclimbing.com POWERleap as her senior thesis project at the University of Michigan's School of Art and Design. She wanted to design a project that would educate people about their relationship and dependence on energy. Human bodies generate electricity, about 100 watts at rest, which (according to www.elizabethredmond.net) is enough to power the computer I am writing on.

Elizabeth set out to harness our bodies’ energy to power small objects. But when she realized that walking was our most abundant and consistent activity, and the energy harnessed from it could power something much bigger than an iPod, the design for the POWERleap tiles was born.

Redmond's unique floor tiles generate electricity using a phenomenon known as piezoelectricity – electricity generated by applying mechanical stress to certain materials like the lead zirconate plates in the POWERleap. When these 2-inch by 1-inch piezoceramic plates are bent, a charge is produced that can be harnessed. Multiply one tile by the surface area of a subway station or even your standard grocery store floor, and you can imagine the online discount cialis amount of overnight delivery viagra energy these tiles have the potential to generate.

In a few years Elizabeth hopes people will be able to pull the POWERleap off the shelves of Home Depot and install it to power their homes. More importantly if we generate our own electricity it should change the way we consume, appreciate and utilize electric power. During our cell phone conversation, Elizabeth pointed out another beneficial feature of the technology. "Imagine a business powered by the people who move around inside it. When the people leave for the day the lights and power would automatically shut down."

Elizabeth expects the buy cialis china next stage of development and the best site online pharmacies research to yield "an electromechanical system that is safe, efficient, easy to install, repair, and apply, and fun to participate with." She currently seeks funding for the next stage of the POWERleap's development. Since the applications of this technology are endless and the end of the oil age is fast approaching, let's hope she does not have trouble finding eager investors.

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Comments (51)Add Comment
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Old idea, wont work.
written by Clinch, July 25, 2008
They've tried this idea before, it wasn't successful.

The 'power wasted' (or 'unharnessed) when people walk is due to inefficiencies in walking/legs/humans, and generating power in this way doesn't harness 'wasted energy', it makes walking more difficult, and harnesses the extra energy used to walk over difficult terrain (how difficult it is to walk on depends on how much energy they are trying to generate out of it, being easy to walk on doesn't make it practical for energy generation, generating a sufficient amount of energy would make the surface too difficult to walk on [e.g. more difficult than walking on sand]).
And if that doesn't get my point across, think about trying to get energy by strapping a generator on to a bicycle, you'd need to exert more energy than normal to move at the same speed, whilst also providing enough power to generating electricity.
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hmmm questions
written by bob bobberson, July 25, 2008
Curious about the Physics.

So when I strike the ground with force X the ground should push back with force X in the opposite direction. Its not an ideal world so some force is lost. The Less force X it gives back the more it should feel like walking on a Sand. Am I correct?

But this effect isn't like walking on sand. Wikipedia says "Piezoelectricity is the http://www.americanfoods.com/buy-viagra-online-uk ability of canadian pharmacy viagra prescription some materials (notably crystals and certain ceramics) to generate an electric potential." Certainly Ceramics are not like a trampoline or sand. It seems like this force isn't like the mechanical force of the bike generator.

How durable would this be? To be unnoticed how much power would it generate?
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written by Space, July 25, 2008
I hate to see eco blogs being polluted by gimmicks like these (or water-powered cars)
There is no way it can produce a significant portion of our energy needs.
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Hmmmm
written by Jessie Carty, July 25, 2008
this seems like a fascinating idea but is it actually cost effective would be the next question? But i love the thought of having a way to possibly compensate for some of the less clean ways to get electricity.
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written by Kaspm, July 25, 2008
Instead of assuming that this idea is completely bone-headed, I prefer to give Elizabeth the benefit of the doubt as a scientist and encourage her to continue her research to see if this idea can lead to a viable product. She is at least working on a real-world experiment instead of writing pessimistic comments on the interweb. Thanks for the article, Raegan.
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written by Monica, July 25, 2008
I'd love to see this work, I think it's a great idea. I hope she gets the funding she needs.
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written by bill, July 25, 2008
There is no need to fund this kind of research because this idea can easily be shown to be bone-headed.
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not so fast
written by Tom, July 25, 2008
Don't get me wrong, I like the outside-the-box whimsical thinking, but this is an utterly impractical solution.

In addition to the increased difficulty in walking, the potential power out put of such a system would not be very much. Some calculations:

equations:

P = (F*d)/t
F = m*g

Assume the buy tramadol online following (extremely generous) quantities: that the average person weighs 100 kg, takes two steps per second, the gravitational field is 10 N/kg, and that the floor "sinks" 2 mm with each step (much more would make walking at pace too difficult).

Plug in (converting units to meters, kilograms, and seconds).

P = ((100*10)*0.002)/0.5 = 4 W

Not only is this substantially less than a hundred, but the laws of thermodynamics dictate that an extremely efficient conversion process would result in 2 W of electricity per person (and this does not even take into account the energy put into manufacturing and installing the tiles). Even putting these devices in high traffic areas would result in only small energy return for the amount of financial input.

Here's another way to think of the 4 Watts: For comparison's sake, most of the world gets at least 100 W of sunlight per square meter on average (which includes nighttime). I am not an expert in material costs, but I find it hard to believe that it would be more cost-effective to install these tiles (which I assume would wear out fairly quickly - particularly if they are especially efficient) instead of investing in solar.
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Lighten up people!
written by Rachel, July 25, 2008
I agree with Kaspm! At least Elizabeth Redmond's being progressive. Today the world needs as many ideas as possible if we're to diminish our dependence on oil. Though the ideas may not be plausible or practical at first, it doesn't mean we should dismiss them right off the bat.
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written by Doug, July 25, 2008
Actually, yeah, harnessing people's footsteps might be a silly idea, but the technology involved might be useful for other applications -- say, a new kind of wave- or wind-energy-capture device, with fewer moving parts?
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I had the pfizer cialis 50mg same idea
written by Mark Kiernan, July 25, 2008
But her problem is that lack of energy, I have a similar idea but I don't know who to contact about it. My idea would work better that is all I can say. ;)
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written by Clinch, July 25, 2008
It's nice to be optimistic, and give people the benefit of the doubt for wacky ideas like this, but that's not the way the world works, and giving funding to projects that have been tried before, and shown to not be practical, and can be shown to not be practical with simple equations (i.e. the ones above), is a waste of money that could be used to fund something useful.
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Innovation
written by The Food Monster, July 26, 2008
http://thefoodmonsterblog.blogspot.com
It is definitely a great try. Who knows, there may be a material out there that makes it cost effective, especially for NY's subways. I would love to see it happen and work, just not sold on the idea.
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Energy theft
written by Crysis, July 26, 2008
Without compensation for the removal of the pedestrian's energy it is energy theft. If it were possible to extract energy this way, the pedestrian would not be able to walk properly as their feet would feel funny.
0
Sustainable Dancing?
written by Naseem, July 26, 2008
Isn't there something sort of similar going on in European dance clubs? Energy is generated by the clubbers sweet moves on the floor. Check it out:

http://www.sustainabledanceclub.com/index.php?t=newsd&n=35
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...
written by Matt, July 26, 2008
I think that with innovations like this, cheap solar power and wind generators, the future of electricity is going to be a lot of very small, personally, or community owned sources, rather than one really large source.
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written by Andy, July 27, 2008
Yes, it's inefficient. But you have to realize where this type of technology would be applied. For example, in Penn Station in NYC, tens of thousands of people walking on the main floor every day, I can see how it could, cumulatively, generate a significant amount of power. Not to mention if they started making sidewalks/roads out of this stuff as well. Of course that's a decade in the future since it would need years of development until this technology is durable enough and find cialis online cheap enough for those applications.
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Ideas Spawn Ideas
written by Boating Buddy.com, July 27, 2008
How about something like this used in the expansion joints of all our highways?
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Hmmmm
written by Hmmmm, August 08, 2008
I wonder if they could use this type of technology on the freeway. I have seen plastic tubes (like a water hose) on the street before. I don't know what they do when I run over them, but now I am wondering. Any comments?
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JUST USE SLAVES
written by batboy, September 05, 2008
Feed them muck and make them turn generators. That's a form of renewable energy.
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...
written by Propecia, September 09, 2008
that is a really interesting concept, nice post.
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Who said anything about the walking cond
written by Rocker, September 19, 2008
I don't recall reading anything that said the walking conditions were to be any different than walking on normal tiles/floor/etc. From what I gathered, this form of production doesn't take alot of 'bending' to create electricity. If you have ever walked on a raised floor, there is always some flex. Maybe that is all that is needed. I must do more research. Oh, and all of you who think her idea a bad one, just remember, she is probably smarter than most of us. Oil is good. But not the only way to produce power. I like big engines. I don't mind using hydrocarbons. But I don't see why we shouldn't look for other ways to produce power.
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...
written by carcharias, September 30, 2008
About the freeway/ roads idea; if we are so worried about the extra energy input of pedestrians on tiles, do we really want to put this technology on our roads? The last thing we want is to be implementing technologies which make our cars more inefficient. It seems rather backwards to me.

I think that if installed in appropriate areas, such as subway stations, this technology could accumulate great amounts of power. And if there is a little extra effort for pedestrians, there will be a hidden health benefit. People won't be walking on the tiles for their entire journey, I'm sure almost anyone could withstand a short walk on sand...
0
People who don't understand Physics
written by Dan K, October 14, 2008
Everyone is commenting that the pedestrians would have trouble walking is sadly mistaken. Every step we take on every surface transfers wasted energy into the surface. How do you think the best prices for viagra sound of footsteps is generated? All these would do is to capture some of that energy.

The analogy of walking on sand is bogus, if made right the person would not know a difference. Also the minute flexing of the surface might actually help reduce joint strain.

Now whether this is practical or not I have no idea, depends on design, but it is definitely a potential source of energy. Keep up the good work!
0
The crystals don't literally bend in tha
written by Retnuh66, October 15, 2008
Piezoelectric crystals generate electricity when force is applied. It doesn't mean that they actually bend like a spring, they generate electricity from impact. Lighters create the spark from a clicker that builds up tension until you pass a certain point, where it clicks and releases all the tension by impacting the crystal with a little hammer. The impact of your foot from walking normally goes into the floor as sound, vibration, and heat. The crystals will not make walking any harder at all, but will get energy from the normally wasted impact.
0
Good dialog but lots of mis-information
written by JohnW, October 15, 2008
I am encouraged by the number of people who get involved in commenting on new technology like this but I am discouraged by how many just throw out a thumbs down without anything to back it up. Retnuh66 is nearly correct that piezo crystals won't absorb much movement, but without some movement, there is no energy transfer. Pushing on an immovable object will not transfer any kinetic energy and we are talking here about converting kinetic energy to electricity. So the crystals DO bend, but not enough that you would notice it when walking over them. If they did move that much, they would break. Piezo crystals are used in digital scales and I doubt if anyone could feel that kind of scale moving down when they step on it.

Whether this technology is actually efficient and cost effective enough to be a useful way to generate energy is to be determined. It might be the same situation as residential solar 10 years ago >> 15-20 years to start getting payback. However, the concept is interesting from the standpoint of capturing wasted energy. How about installing these as stair treads in the subway? There you would get much more energy transfer. I just came back from Hong Kong and believe me, if you could capture 1% of the energy of several million people going up and pill price viagra down all those stairs every day, you would really have something.

The first application of these new technologies is often just a catalyst for something really amazing. It deserves some time to percolate.
0
Fascinating
written by Lisa Winston, October 27, 2008
Wow, I hope she makes it. She sure sounds worthy to be on the MIT team!

Lisa
www.anonymity.cz.tc
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written by Matt, October 27, 2008
In response to the difficulty walking concern-
We walk on surfaces every day that have some "give" to them. It's carpet. It actually makes walking more comfortable. Have you ever walked around a concrete floored warehouse all day? the lack of give in the surface is harder on our joints than a lightly padded surface. I think this is a great way to use the www.bsd-berlin.de energy we exert to work for us.
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Thinking too big.
written by PowersN, October 27, 2008
I like to think of such inventions as things that will help large facilities become more self sufficient and make their footprint on the energy grid smaller. While I don't expect such things to power the surrounding city, they should be looked at for possibly reducing the huge energy bills of large private and public buildings with heavy foot traffic. Depending on the cost of installation and maintenance even a small percentage saved may make something like this economically attractive.
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Maybe not for Walking, Maybe for Driving
written by Mike, October 27, 2008
I understand the idea and its potential, it really is a neat idea. I am not an electrical or mechanical engineer, so I do not know if it would work or not, so I'm going to leave that to the experts that do.

However, if walking power isn't the solution, what about highway traffic? It would be AWESOME if there was a way to put a device with this theoretical concept idea underneath the concrete/surface that we drive on. Theoreticlly, generating power to the city that we're driving around/to/from. Imagine the traffic in the NYC, DC, LA all helping power the city. I understand that it may not be the most efficient on a walking scale, but what if we increase the scope of it to include fast moving and more volume? Every little bit helps with energy - especially if there is a way to harness what we're already doing.

Overall, great idea! Good luck with it!
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written by matt V, October 27, 2008
The tubes you see crossing the road are measuring the enter site overnight canadian levitra number of cars that pass. If you see two closely spaced tubes, they're measuring the speed of cars on that stretch of road. If a lot of people seem to be breaking the speed limit, you'll find a speed trap in your neighborhood soon.

The point that we prefer padded surfaces to walk on to begin with--such as carpet or the insoles of our shoes--which is a project that the army began for combat boots so that soldiers could power small items like sat phones--is valid. I think her project has hope. Piezoelectric disks are dirt cheap.

I'd suggest she abandon her tile idea, and try to make carpet/astroturf-like material that can be rolled out. Easier to install and mass produce.
0
Interesting concept
written by Joel, October 27, 2008
Despite all the nay-sayers, I think it's a plausible idea. Things like this placed all over the world could create significant amounts of energy. Also, to those people who are so against it, I doubt this would be a replacement, more of a supplement. Instead of paying $100/month in electricity, you would pay $80/month.

Personally, I think we should put it in prisons and http://davenportinstitute.com/cialis-canadian-pharmacy make the inmates run in place for 20 minutes every day :P
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...
written by Carol, October 27, 2008
I think it's fantastic to see any new ideas coming to the surface and really being worked on. We need other options, all the old ones haven't solved the problem yet. I'm inspired by the people who are willing to work on problems that everyone else shuns.

I look forward to buying these tiles someday. In fact I would love to designing some textiles for them!
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...
written by jan, October 27, 2008
why not start with a generator on revolving doors. that seems to be more mature technology. just wonder if people are willing to push a bit harder for not having a motorized revolving door.
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...
written by sean, October 27, 2008
anybody doubting this obviously doesnt know anything about technology. and throwing in formulas doesnt disprove anything, just because this is limited by current tech., doesnt mean it cant be used with newly developed tech. it seems no one care about the well being of everyone else, as most people are to concerned about making a profit off of something that is to be used to help everyone as a whole.

good job for everyone supporting her idea and what it can lead too.
we need to our best to get off of fossil fuels.
0
cynicism
written by Ryan, October 27, 2008
How cynical can you all be? Before you bash the idea, how about commending her for exploring the idea?
0
hmm
written by jordan, October 27, 2008
great idea if you are putting it in a busy area like new york but if you are putting it in a small area or a town this is not a good idea. if put in NYSE it would create a lot of power because people are running around a lot but if it is put on sidewalks the www.bsz-wurzen.de energy would be lost so fast that it could not be used for anything
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...
written by Addicuss, October 27, 2008
"There is no need to fund this kind of research because this idea can easily be shown to be bone-headed."
Spoken like a true "scientist"... Don't bother exploring the world is flat and everyone knows it!

plenty of scientific breakthroughs have been made in areas that many people have called "boneheaded"




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Good idea!
written by mike, October 27, 2008
Good idea, has lots of potential with future teck, keep your mind working, u might be another great inventory of out time. Hope you get your financial requirments filled. would be interested to see how this works out. P.s. dont listen to the jerks on here who think they know stuff. only listen to the praise to your idea's because it is a good one. Best of luck!!!
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written by Dancinpete, October 27, 2008
I've got a much easier way of generating excess energy at practically every subway station on the planet... turn off the escalators. relable them as "Green people powered Eco-stairs"
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Dammit
written by Randy, October 27, 2008
Came up with the same idea about 4 months ago, though I was thinking of a layer put underneath carpeting, to offset power usage in offices, though I doubt my "implementation" ideas would be even close to what she came up with.
0
grampamoses
written by john borden, October 28, 2008
Lord Keynes' description of the effect of inflation on a progressive income tax: "a form of tax increase undetectable to 99 out of 100 men"

bJorden
0
It gets its power from vibrations, not w
written by Barryke, October 28, 2008
It gets its power from vibrations, not weight.
Thus Retnuh66 is almost right.
0
Install in Football and Soccer Stadiums
written by Science Teacher, November 16, 2008
Why not add all of these resilient tiles under the sod of football and soccer stadiums to contribute to powering the stadium lights? There is a lot of movement, especially downward gravitational force, upon the surface of a football or soccer field for a three hour period. I think over the long run, the financial returns would occur more quickly because it is only 100 x 50 yards.

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written by Fuck off, December 15, 2008
Its a good idea for Americans, they're too fat and exerting the slight bit more energy to walk will be good for them. Might as well make some power off their fat asses.
We might as well just tie up all exercise equipment to the grid, the doors, the floors, everything
0
Nice idea but doesn't add up.
written by Will, April 06, 2009
Your basically making the floor very slightly bouncy so more energy is consumed walking across it, this extra energy is then captured by the device. But that energy comes from the calories people consume, replacing those calories will consume more energy than the cialis tadalafil canada device will ever produce.

What about the energy manufacturing the materials and constructing the devices, it will probably take more than their lifetime to even generate that much.

If anyone really thinks there is all that much energy lost when just walking they should go read some physics books. Notice how the floors on busy walkways do not get hot, and how the soles of your shoes do not get hot, that's because negligible amounts of energy are being lost.


0
good idea
written by Tony, April 13, 2010
personally i think this is a great idea, and also that we need to start doing away with things like escalators and levitra en gel motorized revolving doors and such that unnecessarily use electricity, quit being lazy and just use stairs everyone or push a door open we could probably place these things on stairs or a generator on doors and make electricity instead of use up electricity to power useless things like escalators and automatic doors
0
The creative process
written by Kyle, May 09, 2010
I can't help but wonder if some of you nay sayers were the same people who, when you read about early wind power experiments, also thought that would be a waste of investment dollars. Did you think/say "It'll never work, it'll never work..." Well, I have news for you. It works. And, it's only a matter of time and innovation before this idea becomes practical. CAn you please send me your email addresses so I can tell you an "I told you so" a few years from now?

0
good idea
written by donnie , October 24, 2011
smilies/grin.gif well its a great idea i think it will be succesful casue we wont have to depend so much on oil and go even father in debt but if you all dont like it why dont yall come up with something better
0
Details...
written by Sustainable Earth, April 28, 2012
The article alone does not provide enough details for anyone to say it will or will not work. Instead of jumping on either side of the fence how about we explore the details first. I just want to see it functional with details on how it works. Then, pose these questions.
0
Wake up peeps!
written by theevolvednoob, May 28, 2013
I just have a few words to say about all of this. STOP with all the disinformation! She has an execellent idea & NONE of your negativity holds ANY bearring in a world that NEEDS problem solvers. All the BS I've read here is just a part of "neanderthalism" & brain trauma-ism(lol-my wordsmilies/wink.gifI am very much involved in this green movement(more than I can devulge atm, due to security reasons). As far as cost and electricity generated goes, well its alot, but truth is that we need NOT look at it like ONE BIG COST, its a gradual conversion over time, employing many-many jobs & for a long time smilies/wink.gif BTW, this DOES indeed work & atm I have the skills & determination to make it as small as 3x3x1/4 inch in size, AND generate a larger amout of electricity. 1 more thing: I think over HALF of you need to stop being so negative & look at the facts that seem to elude most of you-do any of you truly wish to be linked to a dying fossil fuel? Do any of you REALLY care about our children? Can we please give them the cialis 100 tools needed so that 1 day when 1 of them have a "brainstorm" & evolve that tech into something even MORE special, we can eliminate the "want" for fossil fuels-castrating the greedy ones, once and for all smilies/wink.gif I like "constructive" arguing but this is not something that should be discussed, rather EMBRACED. & if you don't persue this with us then it is obvious that YOU!!! are not part of the solution, yet a part of the problem. Keep it real peeps & STEP up your game. I have a saying that I feel is pretty awesome: "Hu-up" pronounced like cadence. It means: Human up-just like "man-up" only it has to do with ALL of us on this planet, BEING the better entity for all mankind. Laters smilies/wink.gif

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