Technical Brief

Development of a Suspended Backpack for Harvesting Biomechanical Energy

[+] Author and Article Information
Longhan Xie, Mingjing Cai

School of Mechanical and Automotive Engineering,
South China University of Technology,
Guangzhou 510640, China

Contributed by the Design Automation Committee of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF MECHANICAL DESIGN. Manuscript received March 26, 2014; final manuscript received January 19, 2015; published online March 5, 2015. Assoc. Editor: Matthew B. Parkinson.

J. Mech. Des 137(5), 054503 (May 01, 2015) (3 pages) Paper No: MD-14-1198; doi: 10.1115/1.4029807 History: Received March 26, 2014; Revised January 19, 2015; Online March 05, 2015

In this study, a harvesting device embedded into a suspended backpack was developed to harness part of a human's biomechanical energy and reduce dynamic force of the backpack on the carrier. The harvester utilized a spring mass damping system to translate the human body's vertical movement during walking into the rotation of a gear train, which then drives rotary generators to produce electricity. A prototype was built to examine the theoretical study, which showed that the experimental tests agreed with the simulation. Compared with previous work, the harvester in this work had a 40% higher harvesting energy efficiency.

Copyright © 2015 by ASME
Your Session has timed out. Please sign back in to continue.


Starner, T., and Paradiso, J., 2004, Low-Power Electronics Design, CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL, Chap. 45.
Stephen, N., 2006, “On Energy Harvesting From Ambient Vibration,” J. Sound Vib., 293(1–2), pp. 409–425. [CrossRef]
Castagnetti, D., 2011, “Fractal-Inspired Multifrequency Structures for Piezoelectric Harvesting of Ambient Kinetic Energy,” ASME J. Mech. Des., 133(11), p. 111005. [CrossRef]
Landsberg, P., and Badescu, V., 1998, “Solar Energy Conversion: List of Efficiencies and Some Theoretical Considerations,” Prog. Quantum Electron., 22(4), pp. 211–230. [CrossRef]
Shenck, N., and Paradiso, J., 2001, “Energy Scavenging With Shoe-Mounted Piezoelectrics,” IEEE Micro, 21(3), pp. 30–42. [CrossRef]
Rome, L., Flynn, L., Goldman, E. M., and Yoo, T. D., 2005, “Generating Electricity While Walking With Loads,” Science, 309(5741), pp. 1725–1728. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Donelan, J. M., Naing, V., Hoffer, J. A., Weber, D. J., and Kuo, A. D., 2008, “Biomechanical Energy Harvesting: Generating Electricity During Walking With Minimal User Effort,” Science, 319(5864), pp. 807–810. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Lee, S., and Tovar, A., 2013, “Topology Optimization of Piezoelectric Energy Harvesting Skin Using Hybrid Cellular Automata,” ASME J. Mech. Des., 135(3), p. 031001. [CrossRef]
Xie, L., Menet, C. G., Ching, H., and Du, R., 2009, “The Automatic Winding Device of a Mechanical Watch Movement and Its Application in Energy Harvesting,” ASME J. Mech. Des., 131(7), p. 071005. [CrossRef]


Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 1

(a) The harvesting device and (b) the harvester contained in a backpack

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 3

(a) Average power output versus walking velocity for a constant external backpack load; and (b) average power output versus external backpack load at a constant walking velocity 5.6 km/hr

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 2

Harvester prototype and experimental setup



Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging and repositioning the boxes below.

Related Journal Articles
Related eBook Content
Topic Collections

Sorry! You do not have access to this content. For assistance or to subscribe, please contact us:

  • TELEPHONE: 1-800-843-2763 (Toll-free in the USA)
  • EMAIL: asmedigitalcollection@asme.org
Sign In