A Walk Towards Wearable Energy Harvesters (Printed Electronics Europe 2013)

Dr Thomas McKay, Research Fellow
Auckland Bioengineering Institute
New Zealand
Avr 17, 2013.


Auckland Bioengineering Institute - presentation*
Auckland Bioengineering Institute - audio presentation*

If you already have access, please [Login]

Presentation Summary

  • This talk will discuss a technology called the dielectric elastomer, which could harvest electrical energy from human movements eliminating the need to recharge batteries.
  • Dielectric elastomer generators have struggled to realize their full potential for flexibility, simplicity and low mass at a system level. Dielectric elastomers have not met their potential because they require external circuitry and mechanical coupling mechanisms that are rigid and bulky.
  • Our efforts to reduce the requirement for additional circuitry and mechanical components will be discussed. I will then describe how our progress has enabled us to create a soft, light-weight energy harvester embedded in a shoe.

Speaker Biography (Thomas McKay)

Tom McKay received his PhD from the University of Auckland in 2012. His research focuses on artificial muscle energy harvesters (dielectric elastomers). More specifically, his work focuses on the development of a dielectric elastomer generator that is simpler, lighter, and cheaper than models previously available. Tom hopes that technologies such as dielectric elastomers can make battery replacement a thing of the past.

Company Profile (Auckland Bioengineering Institute)

Auckland Bioengineering Institute logo
The Auckland Bioengineering Institute (ABI) is a cross-faculty research centre within The University of Auckland, which is New Zealand's top ranking and largest University. Tom's work is primarily carried out in the ABI's Biomimetics Laboratory which is led by Associate Professor Iain Anderson. A strong focus of The Biomimetics Laboratory is control electronics for artificial muscles.
View Auckland Bioengineering Institute Timeline