By now we’ve all heard of home-based solar, wind, and geothermal power that enable us to generate our own power.
On a larger scale, communities are developing wind, wave, and tidal power as viable, regionally-sourced energy options that enable them to be self sustaining or even feed energy outward.
There’s a new, more local source of energy—human motion. Researchers worldwide have developed an incredible variety of ways to generate electricity just from moving.
Devices can generate power from walking or running. Electricity can be generated on floors and stairs when people walk on them, as well as from cars driving on roads. The floor of a London nightclub called Surya now generates electricity from dancing, as do floors in a Tokyo subway from walking.
Human motion-generated electricity may not seem like enough power to realistically take care of our increasing energy needs. But imagine treadmills that power themselves, sidewalks that power street lights, and highways that electrify. Human motion power shows that every step we take is an important one—that every move we make affects not only ourselves, but also the energy of the world at large. —Paul McGinniss