Energy-generating floorboard lights up 35 LEDs with one footstep
converts footsteps into energy may one day power lights in train stations and busy thoroughfares. Xudong Wang (pictured above) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and his colleagues have invented a material that generates electricity when people step on it. Unlike previous attempts in this vein, which use relatively expensive materials like ceramics and metals, this one is low-cost, renewable and biodegradable. One step on a floorboard produces between 10 and 30 volts, and is capable of lighting up 35 green LEDs.