“Walk with purpose” is a phrase you may have heard at some point in your life, challenging you to pull your shoulders back and inspire a little more confidence with your gait. Well, these walkways at the Leighton Buzzard train station (in Bedfordshire, UK) take that saying and run, or rather, walk with it. See, these two walkways are made up of kinetic floor tiles that turn your footsteps into clean, green electricity.
The tiles were installed as part of a partnership between tech company Pavegen and the Central Bedfordshire Council. As ordinary folks step onto the tiles the weight of their steps press down the electromagnetic generators underneath, which then produces electricity. This electricity is then used to run two benches kitted out with USB-charging ports, plus a screen that shows how much electricity is being produced as well as other messages.
A train station would normally be a great place to generate electricity via foot-traffic, but Pavegen says it’s hard to predictably estimate how much power the tiles can produce with the ongoing pandemic. More and more people are opting to work, if not entirely, at least partially from home, which makes commuter numbers rather unpredictable.
That said, it’s a cool project, and while these tiles aren’t going to be powering any houses or flats, Pavegen is hoping that they’ll at least inspire a conversation on renewable energy between working, commuting folk. The company is also working on an app with the Central Bedforshire Council that aims to incentivise using public transport or local shopping, via in-app rewards. Everything is more fun when it feels like a game, after all.
Source: The Next Web