The uChargeIt team, led by Steven Payne, a Master of Business Administration student (MBA) at Fayetteville State University's (FSU) Broadwell College of Business and Economics, developed a business plan based on an invention by Dr. Daryush Ila, Associate Vice Chancellor for Research and Technology.
This invention integrates a highly efficient piezoelectric material, produced by NASA, into belts and vests, designed at FSU, in order to charge batteries for mobile devices at high rates. This technology will prove useful for everyone, including warfighters and astronauts, whether they are inside or outside their space capsules. The team was supervised by Dr. Assad Tavakoli, the W.T. Brown Endowed Chair and Distinguished Professor of Economics.
The uChargeIt team utilized NASA Langley's advanced actuators and transducers to create wearable charging accessories, including belts and vests, to provide portable power generation for smartphones, tablets, and other electronic devices. Mechanical forces, generated as the user moves and breathes, are converted into electricity by these advanced actuators and transducers which is then stored within the uChargeIt device. For the Artemis mission and other NASA operations, uChargeIt devices will enable an astronaut in space, or during a spacewalk, to have additional charging capability without the need for carrying excessive batteries or the need to return to the capsule/orbiter.
In addition to Payne, the team consisted of ZaMetria Wall, Business Administration; Marina Better, Biology; and Lianis Reyes-Rosa, Chemistry.
The onsite competition by 11 finalist institutes will be held at NASA's Johnson Space Center on April 26-30, 2020.