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Energy-generating floorboard lights up 35 LEDs with one footstep

A floor material that 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.

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