Material science researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have figured out how to build wood flooring material that converts downward pressure into usable electricity. Xudong Wang, an associate professor of materials science and engineering is leading the research.
The flooring is made of pressed wood pulp, which is separated into a series of small layers that have different electrical charges. Each layer is less than millimeter thick, and there are very small spaces between each one. When someone walk on them, the weight causes the layers get pushed together.