Electricity Generating Footwear - Generate Electricity By Walking (Concept)

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Did you know that you can produce electricity by just walking? Here's a little science experiment that will show you a little secret on making insoles that can charge USB devices! The challenge is to make a slip-on insole that can produce enough electricity to charge batteries/ USB devices.

Google Fair 2014:
This is my entry for Google's 2014 science fair. Please support us by hitting the like and share button on our YouTube video. The contest is YouTube based so getting a fair amount of likes and viewers would help a lot in getting us through the competition.

Thank you guys for the support! The project has qualified for the regional finalist and won a local award in GSF 2014! :D

Development of The Project:
The power generating soles are one of my first concept projects. I started my first prototype last five years ago although it was a very primitive, compared to my current design. My old prototype had two TO-3 plastic spacer sandwiched between two piezo discs. It produces a fair amount of current, enough to charge a Nokia 3310.

5 years later, I came back with the idea of using the sandwiched piezo setup, this time integrated to a charge collector and powerbank. So I thought, why not add 2 more pairs? After all, more is better.

Concept Behind The Project:
Piezoelectricity was present ever since mid-18th century. Piezoelectricity is the electric charge that accumulates in certain solid materials (such as crystals, certain ceramics in response to applied mechanical stress. This sounds familiar! Yes they do, you can actually find those piezo elements in your old/ outdated earphones from the 90's.

Why Not Use Dynamos?
As much as possible, I tried to avoid using dynamos. Yes dynamos produce more electricity but it will feel like you've stuffed a rock in your shoe. Don't forget dynamos will create a lot of noise.

Any Practical Uses?
As funny as it sounds, charging a phone with your shoe isn't really joke. Who knows maybe someday shoe companies like Nike could use these insole generators to power fitness chips (inside shoes) that would sync to your phone wirelessly. This way, you don't have to charge your smart-shoes just to sync them with your phone.

Disclaimer: This is just a little science experiment. It will show you the concept of producing electricity using piezoelectric elements. Don't assume that is close in becoming a product.

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I'm curious, since one side is somewhat elevated, how did you feel after the two hours? Any back pain or stress in the ball of the foot? Does it feel more spring like?

I certainly like the concept, piezos are definitely difficult to make work.

ASCAS (author)  efahrenholz1 year ago

Surprisingly, it feel comfortable. The foams are squishy enough to make the insole feel like a gel slip-on. When jogging a 10-20% energy loss is expected due to the gaps of energy production. Jogging for at least for 3-4 hours should charge the battery full. A walk should take 5-6 hours to charge a 400mAh full, due to the 40% energy loss.

Don't forget that these peizo elements produce more energy when jumping. The weight of the user/ subject also affects the amount of energy produced. The heavier the subject, the higher the current.

Congrats for your prize in GSF 2014. I am also thinking of a project associated with piezoelectricity. But I don't know which piezoelectric transducers to use. I found the one in the link on internet, is it good?

ASCAS (author)  ASCAS1 year ago


Primian4 days ago

Hi, only one question: have you done a brevet?

I am trying to reproduce it using 12 transducers , but i am only generating 100 microA .

i soldered then in paralell

rajsingh21 month ago

can you send the parrellel circuit on plz

rajsingh21 month ago

mine is not produsing 1v also ipeizo disks are cutting there current can you plz hip me plz

Congrats for your prize in GSF 2014. I am also thinking of a project associated with piezoelectricity. But I don't know which piezoelectric transducers to use. I found the one in the link on internet, is it good?

YogeshD31 month ago

what is foam ? please reply

priandoyo1 month ago

Thank you for sharing, it is inspiring project

AndreasO11 month ago

A regulator eat to much power, and the Powerpack will not Charge, because of the voltage break. I think also the direct contact bring milli seconds to charge. ( My powerpack is blink a little bit. ) the concept is great but the Efficiency is to low.

Have anybody a regulated system?

AndreasO11 month ago

It works and generate with my 20mm piezos 6 of it ca. 5-6Volts. I will put a regulator behind (µa78s05) and try to charge my 1000mAh powerpack in a run. Thanks for the great idea.

AndreasO11 month ago
dengd2 months ago

is there a specific Piezoelectric Transducers you used... there is various online or does it not matter?

kennard20002 months ago

hi im also a filipino (the one who believes you) can you tell me where did you buy the piezo

mayur satani2 months ago

which parts are used in this project(name of parts) and how much cost of this all parts?

send me on :

pls send me, thnx...

karan.virk.313 months ago

can u please tell me how to get better current rating to charge up my phone . I am only getting 2.40 v after my regulator which is not 7805 plz tell me brother how to get 3.7 v to charge up my phone

davy.thibau3 months ago

we made it but we could get only 0.5mA out of the piezo elements, this is not enough to charge a battery. Did we do something wrong? how dig you get 5mA out of your piezo's?

IshanP4 months ago

Yes, they will work, in fact, those are what I am using. Keep in mind that twenty mm is really small, so it might be hard to work with!

Hey, Angelo, I need help with the testing part, I want to test how much electricity is generated by only one piezo disc. Do I still need the Mylar capacitor? And how do I connect the piezo disc to the Mylar capacitor then to the digital multimeter?

If you need to send me an Email, then send it to:


Javier Corado3 months ago

I think that someway that would work even better is to plug every piezo in parallel just like you did and then connect it to a 1000mF 50v capacitor then into a voltage regulator and then just add some more capacitors only to regulate the voltage, and i think that if you put a switch you may charge a cell phone directly from the circuit, because the voltage will be already regulated and control, or if you want to avoid to a fail in a circuit plug it into the powerbank

Carlos321fm made it!4 months ago
I create it and not work

Maybe take away some of the piezo disks, see if that works!

Carlos321fm4 months ago
Angelo, i need contact you, my email is
Carlos321fm4 months ago
Angelo, i need help, i create one of it and not work

Wow! I'm going to do this for a science fair coming up, is that ok?

Amazing idea, hope it becomes reality and people do buy it!

I am connected to various foundation to help new ideas become reality email me
pots11264 months ago

i'm curious that a piezoelectric disc could only produce a micro current.. can this factors can charge a power bank or any rechargeable battery efficiently?

awesome device, can't wait to wear it :D

hi. i'm a student. I just want to ask how many bridge diodes are needed, is it two or only one for both side of the insole?

ASCAS (author)  cluadinedeniegadoma5 months ago

As stated on the guide, the piezo discs are connected in parallel. You only need one bridge diode (total of 4 rectifier diodes).

are you the one who made the charge collector circuit or is it installed in the powerbank?

hi. im a student. I just want to ask how many bridge diodes are needed, is it two or only one for both side of the insole?

well played dude, keep going ;)

Mr AbAk5 months ago
Nice Ible ...

Yes, I made it successfully. But still I can't get the voltage from three piezo which is measured by you. I made it by similar way like your.

There are Six piezos
Three on each side...

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