Product Development · Engineering

Seeking engineering advice

Matt Zuern Freelancer at Matthew Zuern Graphic Design

April 1st, 2016

I'm trying to determine who has the best energy harvesting technology and I'm not up to date.  Does anyone know where you look for a device that generates an electric charge with the swinging movement of a person's arm.  Does anyone know where to look?
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Leo PhD Product development executive, serial entrepreneur and Angel Investor

April 1st, 2016

I honestly don't know what would be "best", since it depends on the application and size scale you are thinking about; but you can look at piezoelectric transducer or pressure based sensors for a start.

Duane Wilson Managing Director at Founder Academy

April 1st, 2016

Hi Matt, One of our partners (Ansyc Labs) has offered to help in your research. Rob is a Director there and has experience working on energy harvesting devices and is happy to email or have a call to discuss. Send me an email and I'll be happy to make the intro ; duane (a t) founder academy (dot) com

- looks like I can't easily post emails here, attempted to break it down above ;D I'm also on Twitter at @HelloDuane - will see if that works 

Lee Felsenstein Electronic Product Design Engineer

April 2nd, 2016

Thad Starner at Media Lab did a project on this kind of thing. If you want any useful amount of energy the arm will feel resistance. There are piezoelectric flex sensors that generate signals but not appreciable amounts of power.

Frank Braswell

April 2nd, 2016

Cherry Switches is doing some interesting work with harvesting energy from push button switches. http://cherryswitches.com/us/energy-harvesting-technology/ The movement of the switch generates enough energy to generate an RF signal for remote control. Energy harvesting is only one component of the system. You need to know how much energy is needed for your task as well. It will all be ultra low power, and a challenging design. It's what I enjoy doing.

Andras Boross Co Founder at Plethy, Inc

April 1st, 2016

There is a company, who is making a shoe insert. I do not remember their name, but they are selling their first version (or maybe the second one). I am sure you can find them with a little google.
Not sure about your application, but it would be a good start.

Alfredo Guzman

April 2nd, 2016

Linear.com has energy harvesting modules that work with piezoelectric materials.