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 Yes they do, you can actually find those piezo elements in your old/ outdated earphones from the 90's.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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efahrenholz6 months ago

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)  efahrenholz6 months 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.

ASCAS (author)  ASCAS5 months ago


iMazzter3 days ago

Hi ASCAS. Where did you buy the Piezoelectric Transducers? I also live here in the Philippines.

yhdesai5 days ago

made it many times but silver plate on piezo breaks everytime


how can i contact u?i have a few qn to ask or sumthg?

atljedi115 days ago

I am very confused about the bridge diode. am I supposed to glue the diodes to the pad or will the sodder stick it there for me. should I cut the metal on the diodes or just leave them how they are. I am so confused!

i've done a lot of research on piezoelectric energy harvesting, and from what I've learnt I can say (like many othera) that your idea is very impractical, and also the way you have executed the project is quite wrong. For example, you've directly connected the link poly battery to the piezos, which doesn't do anything much except probably damage your battery.

I don't no know how you won 3 projects, as well as the gsf price with this...

But you use this idea to make a pedometer, or maybe footstep activated LEDs and so much more...

HillaryF made it!3 months ago

This was pretty easy to make, even with my limited experience with soldering.


Hi Hillary, I am curious to where that yellow wire is connected to. Could u pls help.

i think the other wire is connected to the other 3 piezos on the other side of the sole

This is correct. There are 3 more piezos on the other side and the yellow wire connects them. They do all need to route through the diode bridge eventually, after all.

Iam having the same doubt . Did you get any idea sir

Escuse me sir , would you tell what the yellow wire in your circuit is , if u dont mind .

EE3 HillaryF2 months ago

A picture of the underside would be extremely helpful :):)

EE3 HillaryF2 months ago

Hi Hillary, can you tell me what the yellow cable is for and also where it goes to?

litchex1 month ago

where can i buy piezotransducer ????

Which diodes are used??

i have made the shoe but its not charging my power bank or my phone
i live in india and here we have DC piezo electric discs and i am getting 17 volts from 4 piezos i followed your steps but i am not able to charge my phone or power bank
i would be glad if u help me! :D

vpatel281 month ago

Hi ASCAS, I am making this but i can store it but it is not able to use it for any purpose like lighting 4 leds for some time.I am using 104 ceramic capacitor and IN4148 diode whose recovery time is faster, but facing the problem any suggestion please my email ID is

ppadaria1 month ago
very innovative idea
CRAZYFA2 months ago
This is amazing, dude! I have a suggestion. What if you make one that works with bike wheels? the placing in the wheel is complex though, even with some smaller piezos because they might break. With this, you'd have like 5x more. Not sure though. Just giving a suggestion. And again, this is awesome!
dekbu2 months ago

where can i buy a piezo i cant find it in electronic shops

nice invention BTW.

appleman123987 made it!3 months ago

Hey! Can you help me? Please? Where can I purchase Piezoelectric Transducers (discs)? I've tried many electrical stores but still I can't find one.

nikshah223 months ago
Hey buddy! I have a 25mm piezo discs. Are they big enough? Bigger ones aren't available.

BTW... awesome project!
pradyumna26993 months ago

could u plz send a diagram for putting 2 bridges diodes with 2 pairs of 35mm Piezo disc. i didn't get how to connect them.could please help me out .

bogart10013 months ago

This is a brilliant idea! I built one of these and here is what I observed. The piezoelectric transducer has a very high internal resistance ranging from a few mega ohms to several hundred mega ohms (depending on its dimensions). The volt meter may read a good amount of voltage when pressure is applied, but the piezo can only generate currents in the range of micro amperes. Adding a load resistance to the output that requires greater than 1.0mA of current causes the voltage to drop below 0.5 volts. To charge an ipod nano, you would need about 100mA of current while maintaining the voltage at 5.0 volts. But this is a great step towards the right direction. Keep experimenting! One day you will come up with something very interesting.

akothari53 months ago

I am trying to create this project for school, can you help me with how to connect the powerbank to the generator as i cannot understand the tutorial already given.

Laxbionic4 months ago

can i ask the schematic diagram of your circuit bro? were planning on large scale project like this one, but were using the ramps here in our school. thanks and more power :)

ASCAS (author)  Laxbionic4 months ago

The schematic is in step #10.

Laxbionic ASCAS3 months ago

where did you buy the piezoelectric transducers bro? were planning to make a larger scale of your project :)

commitdot4 months ago

@angelo i wonder if you sell some of your work or kung pwede mag order sayo?balak ko magtayo ng maliit na museum sa opisina ko at ang layunin ko mashare ang teknolohiya sa mga underserve schools na hindi kayang makabili ng mga parts. Mas higit mo akong maiintindihan kung isa kang innovator at discoverer. at nais kong maging libre ang pag download ng pdf. Gusto kong bumuo ng isang tindahan ng mga ganitong teknolohiya para masimulan ang pagdagsa ng mga magagaling na pinoy sa layuning "for the betterment of the earth and humanity" make, tweak, share, free, no patents, forward innovation. I know instructable is reading my comment here.

Amazing_Aditi4 months ago

Hey Angelo,

Do you think you could explain Step 10 a bit more? I am still confused as to how you did that...


Zachary48014 months ago

Very well done! I do have a question though: how did you open the power bank? Mine is a little different but it is by the same people. It would be great if you could get back to me soon!

Thanks so much!

mnra4 months ago

bro i need to make this project, where can i buy peizo electric transducers ? ( i mean online ), please reply fast

skippysquirl4 months ago

Hey man, you really are the beast, no like really you are.

xenoophorus4 months ago

Copyright or patent doesn't really matter, unless you are making money from it. You can build anything you want. And should!...;^) You can tell other people how you did it. You just can't sell it. Some patent trolls would disagree, but, then, they are trolls...;^)


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