Convert Dance Moves Into Electricity

Bill Weir, C. Michael Kim, David Miller, Justin Bare & Mark Monroy
This Could Be Big

A lot of attention is given to how much energy humans consume, but this week we're looking at the energy humans create, and some of the innovations that are taking place to capture that energy.

There's a harmless virus, yes a virus, that's been created by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory that generates energy when placed between two wafer-thin electrodes and placed in the bottom or your shoe. There's also a soccer ball that generates energy with every kick creating enough power to light a lamp. But it's Pavegen, a young company out of London founded by 26 year old Laurence Kemball-Cook, that's gained the most attention.

Mr. Kemball-Cook and his team have invented a tile that's designed to be installed into sidewalk and capture the kinetic energy you create when you walk. When several tiles are installed into a heavily trafficked area, Pavegen can generate enough energy to power things like lights, wifi and electric signs.

They're currently installing Pavegen tiles at a mall near the site of this summer's London Olympics that will create enough energy to power half of the malls outdoor lights. But they can also be installed in any heavily trafficked areas like airports, train stations, schools and sports arenas.

At this point the tiles are only able to generate energy for low-power applications like outdoor lighting, but the company envisions a day when an entire concert festival, including all the high wattage amps can be powered by Pavegen.

To learn more about the phenomenon of human generated energy we spoke with Mr. Kemball-Cook from his London office over Skype.