Visitors to the NASA Space Center. The Kennedys will soon see a "smart" sidewalk consisting of piezoelectric tiles that store their own energy and can glow at night. Today, sidewalks take up quite a lot of space in the stone jungles of megacities, so scientists decided to endow them with modern technologies.
First, special coatings appeared that absorb solar energy and turn it into a beautiful backlight. Walkways were created that generated electricity from pedestrian footsteps and even emitted Wi-Fi signals. NASA Space Center specialists, creating their "smart sidewalk", decided to combine all the best that had been invented earlier.
The $ 2 million sidewalk consists of 1, 000 tiles spread over an area of 3, 700 sq. m. They form mosaic images of the Earth, Mars, Moon and ISS. Each tile contains electronic boards, six small solar panels, a battery, LEDs, Bluetooth, a Wi-Fi transmitter, microcontrollers, and a piezoelectric element. All this is placed in cavities in special concrete and covered with durable glass tiles. Piezoelectric elements generate energy from the mechanical action of steps.
Along with multi-colored lighting, tiles also transmit information about the latest advances in space technology to passers-by's mobile phones. The system is completely autonomous, thanks to piezoelectric cells, solar panels and lithium batteries, where all the collected energy is stored.
The main goal of the project is to present the technologies of smart cities of the future. Installations like these can be used to illuminate places where visitors can get interesting information in real time.