MIT Plans to Steal Your Energy to Light Public Buildings

Illustration for article titled MIT Plans to Steal Your Energy to Light Public Buildings

Two MIT grad students want to install devices in public buildings that generate electricity from footsteps. They want to install a type of floor that will power train stations and other commuter-heavy areas. The problem is that this energy has to come from somewhere - you. This type of floor will depress slightly when you step on it. If the floor moves, then it will require slightly more effort to walk. It's a very mild form of the effect you get when you walk on sand. [MIT]



I doubt that the floor would move enough that it would be akin to walking on sand. If it did it would be a trip hazard. Also the material they would have to make the walking surface out of would have to be like rubber, so you couldn't use tough cleaners on it, which makes it completely unsuitable for a large public area.

The piezo electric system would work better because they could install it underneath existing flooring. It might not make as much power as this system is capable of, but it would be possible to put many more of them in a greater area to make up the difference.