Louisiana Tech professor featured on CNN for shoe power technology

May 5, 2010 | Engineering and Science, Research and Development

Dr. Ville Kaajakari, assistant professor of electrical engineering at Louisiana Tech University, was a featured guest on CNN on Wednesday, discussing his innovative shoe power generator technology that has received international attention over the past couple of weeks. Appearing on the CNN Newsroom program, Kaajakari talked with host T.J. Holmes about the development of his technology and possible future applications such as powering cell phones, mobile media devices, RF transponders and GPS receivers. Kaajakari’s shoe power generator, developed at Louisiana Tech’s Institute for Micromanufacturing (IfM), is based on new voltage regulation circuits that efficiently convert a piezoelectric charge into usable voltage for charging batteries or for directly powering electronics. “This technology could benefit, for example, hikers that need emergency location devices or beacons,” said Kaajakari.  “For more general use, you can use it to power portable devices without wasteful batteries.” Kaajakari’s breakthrough uses a low-cost polymer transducer that has metalized surfaces for electrical contact.  Unlike conventional ceramic transducers, the polymer-based generator is soft and robust, matching the properties of regular shoe fillings. In addition to CNN, Kaajakari’s work has also garnered attention from MSNBC, Discover News, Investor’s Business Daily, Reuters Television and Associated Press. A portion of the CNN interview (“Shoes that generate electricity”) can be viewed at Written by Dave Guerin –