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Navigating and Energy-Generating Insole: Vibrating Walking Directions

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2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


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Publication Date

June 22, 2020

Start Date

June 22, 2020

End Date

June 26, 2021

Conference Session

Engineering Physics and Physics Division Technical Session 4

Tagged Division

Engineering Physics and Physics

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Paper Authors


Bala Maheswaran Northeastern University

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Bala Maheswaran received his M.S. and Ph.D. in experimental solid state Physics, and MSEE in Electrical Engineering from Northeastern University. He is currently a senior faculty at Northeastern University. He has contributed and authored about seventy publications consisting of original research and education related papers, and conference proceedings. He has over twenty-five years of experience in teaching at Northeastern University. He is the Chair of the Engineering Physics Division, ASEE, Chair-elect and executive board member, ASEE NE Section; the co-chair of TASME Conference (Technological Advances in Science, Medicine and Engineering, Toronto, Canada), Academic Member and the Unit Head, Electrical Engineering, ATINER (Athens Institute for Education and Research, Athens, Greece).

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Liza Brooke Russell Northeastern University

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Liza Russell is a mechanical engineering student at Northeastern University currently enjoying her first co-op in mechanical design at Fikst Product Development.

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Cailey Moy Denoncourt Northeastern University

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Across the world, navigating city streets can be a daunting task. Between avoiding cars, bikers, or other people, having to look down at a phone for directions not only creates a potential hazard, but also distracts from enjoying the surrounding city. As students on a college campus in the middle of a city, Google Maps walking directions are a common method of finding one’s way around. However, using Google Maps still poses the same, potentially hazardous problems. Thus, we explored the idea of creating insoles that could fit into one’s shoes and vibrate corresponding to the direction one should turn. Furthermore, with the mindset of trying to utilize unharnessed energy from our everyday lives, we aimed to use piezoelectrics to harness energy from the steps taken by the user. This paper examines the solution of using an Arduino Nano and an HC-05 Bluetooth receiver to connect to Google Maps, making the corresponding insole vibrate in the direction one should turn and further innovating this design by incorporating piezoelectric elements. The unharnessed energy from human movement has a huge potential to save a significant amount of energy, even in the simplest of ways. Thus, by harnessing the energy from steps using piezoelectrics, the vibrating insole has the ability to generate its own power. This navigating insole could also potentially be of great use for individuals with visual impairments

Maheswaran, B., & Russell, L. B., & Denoncourt, C. M. (2020, June), Navigating and Energy-Generating Insole: Vibrating Walking Directions Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--34992

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