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Seeking engineering advice

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?

6 Replies

Leo Lam, PhD
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Leo Lam, PhD Advisor
Product development executive, serial entrepreneur and Angel Investor
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.
Andras Boross
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Andras Boross Entrepreneur
Co Founder at Plethy, Inc
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.
Duane Wilson
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Duane Wilson Entrepreneur
Managing Director at Founder Academy
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
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Lee Felsenstein Entrepreneur
Electronic Product Design Engineer
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
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Frank Braswell Entrepreneur
iPhone App Developer, Social Media Marketing, Entrepreneur, Electrical Engineer, Purveyor of Inspirational Quotes
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.
Alfredo Guzman
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Alfredo Guzman Entrepreneur
Inventor/entrepreneur
Linear.com has energy harvesting modules that work with piezoelectric materials.
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