A Review of Human-Powered Energy Harvesting for Smart Electronics: Recent Progress and Challenges

  • Salman Khalid
  • Izaz Raouf
  • Asif Khan
  • Nayeon Kim
  • Heung Soo KimEmail author
Review Paper


Recently, energy harvesting from human motion has attracted substantial research into its ability to replace conventional batteries for smart electronics. Human motion exhibits excellent potential to provide sustainable and clean energy for powering low-powered electronics, such as portable instruments and wearable devices. This review article reports on the piezoelectric, electromagnetic, and triboelectric energy harvesting technologies that can effectively scavenge biomechanical energy from human motion such as, walking, stretching, and human limb movement, as well as from small displacements (e.g., heartbeat, respiration, and muscle movement) inside the human body. Furthermore, various recent designs and configurations of human motion energy harvesters are presented according to their working mechanisms, device compositions, and performances. In order to provide insight into future research prospects, the paper also discusses the limitations, issues, and challenges of piezoelectric, electromagnetic, and triboelectric energy harvesting technologies for the development of smart electronics.


Piezoelectric energy harvesting Electromagnetic energy harvesting Triboelectric energy harvesting Human powered Smart electronics Wearable devices 

List of Symbols


Electric displacement


Piezoelectric coefficient





Elastic Compliance


Electric field Intensity






Number of turns


Total magnetic flux




Magnetic field


Area of \(i{\text{th}}\) coil


Initial voltage between the two electrodes


Vacuum permittivity


Interlayer distance


Surface area


External electrodes



This work was supported by the Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF-2017R1D1A1B03028368), funded by the Ministry of Education.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Korean Society for Precision Engineering 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Mechanical Robotics and Energy EngineeringDongguk University-SeoulSeoulSouth Korea

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