I tap my feet a lot. I thought it would be cool to transfer that tapping into usable energy.
What it does
The Zeus One uses piezo elements and parts of dynamo flashlights to power a battery. When the wearer steps, the power generated is routed through a bridge rectifier (converts AC to DC) and is then pushed through a positive and ground cable.
How we built it
We hot glued piezo elements to the insole of some old sneakers. Then we hot glued the generator portion of two dynamo flashlights to the side of the shoe. Finally, we wired all of these up to the two cables necessary to charge the battery.
Challenges we ran into
- Wiring & Cable Management
- Deciding whether to connect the piezos in series or parallel
- stack the piezos, or spread them out.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
- Getting the whole thing to work at all.
What we learned
- There is a difference between knowing what something does and actually being able to apply it.
What's next for Project Amber
- We want to be able to charge a phone by walking.
- We want to find a way to maximize the number of piezos in the insole.
- We want to use custom parts to replace the dynamo generators so that they are quieter, more durable, smaller, more efficient, and better looking.
Why the name?
We get our English word for electricity from the Greek word for "amber." The Greeks first observed electricity when they rubbed amber with wool. Since our project was largely based on generating electricity, Amber seemed like a fitting name. We choose the name Zeus to keep with the Greek theme.