Published: 23rd February 2019
These 19-year-olds have come up with a device that charges your mobile phone while you walk
Mohak Bhalla and Anand Gangadharan, two engineering students from Delhi invented the device while they were in class X
Four years ago, Mohak Bhalla and Anand Gangadharan, two X graders from Delhi decided to experiment a bit with their shoes and the Physics they were learning at school then. In three months, their ideas transformed into a device that they call the Walkie Mobi Charger. Now what is this device all about, you may wonder. This tiny device which easily fits in your pocket can charge your mobile phone using the kinetic energy produced by walking.
This portable mobile charger works on simple tenth-grade science, say the boys. Now, wait for the best part. Walkie Mobi charges 20 per cent faster than your normal charger.
We caught up with Mohak and Anand, who are currently pursuing their BTech Degrees from Bharati Vidyapeeth’s College of Engineering, Delhi and VIT respectively to know more about the story behind this invention. They were more than excited to share.
The duo say that the idea occurred when serendipitously when they were reading articles about Railway Stations that use electricity powered by passengers’ footsteps. "That's when it hit us. If a person can generate electricity, they can definitely use it for themselves," says Anand, adding, “Everyone is stuck to their phones 24x7, that uses electricity. So we thought of developing a device that uses this energy to charge them."
The charger works on the principle of Electromagnetic Induction. The main components of the charger are a dynamo and a buffer mechanism which will rotate the dynamo to produce the electricity needed to charge the mobile phone. The mechanism works with the compression and relaxation caused by the heels of the person’s feet as he walks. In other words, the energy that is produced by a person is transformed into electricity which will charge the phone
This might sound unbelievable, but these teenagers made their first charger entirely of scrap material. The production cost came up to Rs 2000. They say that if it is manufactured in bulk, the price per unit will drop to Rs 500. Anand continues to say optimistically, “The point is to keep it less expensive so that everyone could have access to it”.
Mohak and Anand are planning to make the newer version wireless. Though untested, the advanced circuit is supposed to charge the phones faster. They are also planning on making it function as a power bank so that it can continue to charge the phone after you’re done walking. "The current design of the charger also aims to make it suitable for any device. The circuit can be modified and improved so that the charger can be upgraded to charge even a laptop”, says Mohak. Fun fact: You'll also get your daily dose of exercise in the pretext of charging your phone.
Charge up: The latest version of the device
After their 10th grade, the duo had to take a break on their project due to their higher secondary examinations. But currently, they are working on a more advanced version, making it ready to be released in the market.
Fourteen years of friendship and working together has not stopped them from finishing what they started even though they are now far away from each other. The duo have other fascinating ideas such as using carbon-dioxide as a means of fuel for electricity. When asked about what more plans they have for the future as a team, Mohak hopefully says, “For now, we are exploring our own fields of interest to see what ideas we can come up with and if time permits, we’ll work together, see what we have learned individually and in the future we’ll do something with it.”