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Challenge Hiker Energy Harvesting
Hiker Energy Harvesting
STATUS: Awarded
Active Solvers: 501
Posted: Nov 09 2012
Challenge ID: 9933048
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This Challenge seeks to identify Novel Non-solar and Non-wind energy harvesting technologies or devices.

This is an Ideation Challenge with a guaranteed award for at least one submitted solution.


The Seeker is interested in novel non-solar and non-wind energy harvesting devices that provide supplemental power for hikers and others located in austere environments.  The source, method or device should be able to handle moderate electrical loads and require minimal battery/energy storage equipment.  Substantial amounts of waste energy exist from normal human activity, but attempts to harness them have fallen short for a variety of reasons.  The available amount of waste heat from a human is approximately 100W, but harnessing this energy in a practical way and across a range of ambient conditions has not been demonstrated.  Biomechanical energy from normal walking is also substantial with over 50W available from generative braking, but existing implementations substantially alter or impede natural motion or agility and are not of interest.  For example, a simple system would utilize power generated from a heel strike while walking, but demonstrations have yet to produce over 100 mW.  The Seeker is looking for novel ideas that could help provide supplemental power from normal activities like hiking. 

The proposed method should offer the Seeker client “freedom to practice”.  There should be no patent art preventing the use of specific material for their commercial application. 

This is an Ideation Challenge, which has the following unique features:

  • There is a guaranteed award.  The awards will be paid to the best submission(s) as solely determined by the Seeker. The total payout will be $10,000, with at least one award being no smaller than $5,000 and no award being smaller than $1,000. 
  • The Solvers are not required to transfer exclusive intellectual property rights to the Seeker.  Rather, by submitting a proposal, the Solvers grants to the Seeker a royalty-free, perpetual, and non-exclusive license to use any information included in this proposal.

After the Challenge deadline, the Seeker will complete the review process and make a decision with regards to the Winning Solution(s).All Solvers that submitted a proposal will be notified on the status of their submissions; however, no detailed evaluation of individual submissions will be provided.

What is InnoCentive?
InnoCentive is the global innovation marketplace where creative minds solve some of the world's most important problems for cash awards up to $1 million. Commercial, governmental and humanitarian organizations engage with InnoCentive to solve problems that can impact humankind in areas ranging from the environment to medical advancements.

What is an InnoCentive Ideation™ Challenge?

An InnoCentive Ideation™ Challenge is a broad question formulated to obtain access to new ideas, similar to a global brainstorm for producing a breakthrough idea or market survey which may include ideas for a new product line, a new commercial application for a current product, or even a viral marketing idea to recruit new customers. Ideation™ Challenge submissions are typically about two written pages, and Seekers receive a non-exclusive, perpetual license to use all submissions.

In an Ideation™ Challenge, Solvers may:

  • Submit ideas of their own
  • Submit third party information that they have the right to use and further the authority to convey that right and the right to use and develop derivative works to Seekers
  • Submit information considered in the public domain without any limitations on use

Solvers should not reveal any confidential information in their submissions. Often the Ideation™ Challenge will be followed by one or more of the other three Challenge types to further develop the ideas and gain Intellectual Property protection when the concept has been well-defined.

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