Converting footsteps into electric energy

Raising people’s awareness of renewable energy in times of energy crisis is becoming more and more important. Kartik Bhatia, HSRW student in the field of industrial engineering, has taken on the task of addressing the energy crisis with a way of creating renewable energy and making it visible for everyone.

Interview with Kartik Bhatia

We met Kartik in the Blue FabLab while he was working on his prototype. During the interview he told us about how he came up with the idea and how he manages to write the Bachelor ´s Thesis about his start-up.

What is your start-up about?

My start-up is about sustainable and innovative ways of generating electricity using footsteps. I am using the basic laws of fluid mechanics to generate electricity. This concept itself is a very good way of informing people about how to generate electricity in general and that a simple thing like a footstep can generate that much electricity. That is something that people need to be aware of and more conscious about, especially in times like these where we are discussing a lot about energy crisis.

How did you come up with that idea?

Three years ago, I saw a company while I was just scrolling YouTube, and they were generating electricity through footsteps. I was very intrigued by the idea. I looked deeper into that and how they are doing it. It turned out that it was not a very common way of harvesting energy, and this sector is open to a lot of innovation. This gave me the motivation to pursue this idea further.

How did you come up with the idea to do your thesis about your start-up idea and how does it work for you?

As the companies that are pursuing this idea have their technology patented, I always wanted to come up with a different and more efficient way of doing that. When I was deciding on my thesis topic, I discussed it with Professor Megill, and we decided that it was a good idea to pursue. I just had to come up with something different than what was already existing. I decided to go with this fluid mechanics-based system, where we will be going to push some fluid and try to generate electricity with that.

I always wanted to start a company once I have figured out a different way of harvesting energy from footsteps and my thesis is going to lay the foundation for further developments in this project. It has been going very well for me and I am looking forward to facing further challenges in introducing this product to the market. I would definitely recommend everyone to pursue something like this which can directly work in the direction of sustainability and green energy initiatives.

What kind of support do you receive?

I receive very invaluable guidance, first from Hannes, Start-up Scout at StartGlocal.  Most of my parts were also built using 3D printers from StartGlocal. From time to time, I asked Hannes about different things during this project, about certain technicalities, to arrange meetings with someone, or just normal coaching. So that's been very helpful for me.

Where are you at now and what are the next steps?

Right now, I am building a prototype that will be used as a proof of concept for what I am working on. My next steps would be to invest some more time and money into actually developing a working model for this prototype, which looks better and works more efficiently as right now I only have limited time and limited resources to work with for my thesis. We arranged a meeting with a potential investor and StartGlocal mentor and I would also like to apply for a scholarship. The EXIST scholarship is something that's really intriguing for me. After finishing the thesis I would like to establish a company to develop it further, introduce it to the market and sell it to customers such as to the government for public areas like airports, railway stations, busy streets, and also the private mall owners, and shops.

Thank you for your insights, Kartik. StartGlocal wishes you all the best for your start-up and we are excited to hopefully see your product hit the market soon.

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