The Business Incubation Program at ESA was one of the main “birth places” of inanoEnergy as a startup. The program helped inanoEnergy to achieve its first goals to design and fabricate energy harvesting devices capable of converting environmental wasted energy into useful electricity. With an increasingly tendency of continuous biomedical monitoring to diagnose foot problems at an early stage for injury prevention, risk management and general wellbeing, we developed our first energy harvesters to answer these needs. They were implemented in clothing and footwear to compose self-powered sensors. By the end of the incubation period, inanoEnergy had already developed several prototypes of micro-/nano-generators. The most relevant included: a triboelectric sensor to be placed on the insole of a shoe and measure the pressure distribution exerted at the bottom of the foot while walking; and an energy generator that uses new technology with an innovative design (approved patent number WO 2017/158513 A1) to generate energy with the movement of a fluid.
The first prototype of a triboelectric self-powered pressure sensor in footwear insole can be used as a foot plantar pressure sensor to monitor the foot health in real-time, by measuring the foot plantar pressure characteristics in-situ.