|46||Stationary Stepper for Power Generation
Joo Seung Kim
|# Stationary Stepper for Power Generation
- Jooseung K (jsk4)
- Jayden C (beomkic2)
- Zach D (zjd3)
Exercise in our era is difficult to fit into our busy schedules. Even when we can find the time to exercise, sometimes we are unmotivated or it comes at an opportunity cost. The pandemic also increased the amount of people working remotely from their desks at their homes.
A sitting/standing exercise machine that could generate electricity by an up and down movement of the legs would be a viable exercise in an office setting, because it leaves the arms free and you are able to do it without your hands. It also is not an intense exercise so it fits criteria two. Finally this exercise machine can use that movement in order to generate some electricity, giving the user a sense of accomplishment.
The exercise machine we plan on creating is a step motion machine that can be used by sitting or standing. The steps will get a flywheel to start moving and after a certain point that energy will be able to be converted into electrical energy. We plan on using this electrical energy to efficiently charge a battery. Charging a battery may not be enough incentive however so we also plan on connecting the machine to a smartwatch or computer to be able to remind the user to use the machine.
# Solution Components
## Subsystem 1 - Flywheel Electrical Generation
For this we need a more mechanical system that can convert the step motion into electrical energy.
We plan on producing this by using a flywheel electrical generator that is turned by the step motion.
## Subsystem 2 - Power Electronics
We want our step machine to be useful as well as beneficial to one's health. We want to be able to charge different batteries such as a phone battery or other useful batteries with this machine. To do this we will need a PCB that can convert the power generated by the machine into power that is able to charge one or multiple types of batteries. This will likely involve an AC-DC power converter.
## Subsystem 3 - Computer Software
We will need a simple app on the user's computer to notify them when they should start using the machine again based on time intervals to promote activity throughout the day. The app should be able to set up a goal for the exercise and notify users periodically throughout the day to hit their exercise goals. The program will also be able to create a time for how long the user should use the machine at different times throughout the day to ensure sufficient charge of the battery.
## Subsystem 4 - Computer Connection (Arduino)
In addition to being a generator, we want the machine to give people information and motivation to work out. Therefore, we plan to connect the machine with a display screen. On the screen we will calculate and display the estimated time to fully charge the battery. We plan to use an Arduino to connect the computer and sensors on the stepping machine to know when the user is running the machine so that the notification to workout goes away. The sensor used to see if the user is using the machine will be a pressure sensor something similar to this (https://www.mouser.com/ProductDetail/SparkFun/SEN-09376?qs=WyAARYrbSnZm3k2OB4XwnA%3D%3D&mgh=1&gclid=Cj0KCQiArt6PBhCoARIsAMF5wahEqsN_8c_AXEb2AaG756w0WgdxK_h4lIjnifogcT7_M14uZFfPLTUaAg3CEALw_wcB).
# Criterion for Success
- Demonstrate that our step motion is able to produce usable energy.
- Demonstrate that the stepping motion can be performed while sitting or standing.
- Power electronics converts the energy to charge at least one type of battery (ideally a phone battery).
- Can notify the user to use the machine based on time intervals and battery charge throughout the day.
- Can turn off the notification when the user starts stepping.
- Small enough that it can fit under a desk so the motion can be performed while working.
- Successfully promotes exercise during daily work at a desk by app notifying the user to use the machine.