Human Powered Phone Charger


Smartphones have become increasingly more essential in the modern age since they allow us to connect with the outside world. As smartphones become more accessible comes the need for reliable and convenient methods of charging. Wall outlets and portable power banks are used to charge smartphones most of the time. However, they are not always accessible and reliable, especially in emergency situations and remote areas. Human-powered phone chargers provide an environmentally sustainable and portable solution for charging devices on-the-go. This project seeks to explore alternative solutions to charging that utilize human effort to ensure that charging is possible anywhere. The development of human-powered phone chargers is not new, as there are already existing designs and solutions on the market. However, there is a need to explore all avenues of mechanisms and human mechanical energy to improve its efficiency, portability, and affordability.

Goals and Objectives:

Our goal is to create a practical and efficient solution for a human powered portable charger that is sustainable and convenient, especially in emergency and outdoor situations.

  • Concept exploration and feasibility
    • Detailed analysis of the problem (4/16/2023)
    • Comprehensive overview of existing solutions (4/23/2023)
    • List of potential design concepts (4/23/2023)
  • System definition and design
    • Initial design concept selection (4/30/2023)
    • Detailed drawings/schematics/CAD of chosen design concept (5/2/2023)
    • Webpage to showcase project background (4/30/2023)
    • Midterm presentation (5/5/2023)
    • Midterm report (5/7/2023)
  • System development and implementation
    • Finalized design based on feedback from midterm (5/13/2023)
    • Bill of materials (5/13/2023)
    • Initial CAD design (5/16/2023)
    • Initial physical prototypes for testing and refinement (5/27/2023)
    • Project poster to showcase progress (5/30/2023)
  • Validation, operations and maintenance, changes and upgrades
    • Final product verification and validation (6/10/2023)
    • Final presentation (6/14/2023)
    • Final report (6/16/2023)
  • System requirement/replacement
    • Project closure (6/16/2023)

Social Impact and Sustainability:

The human-powered phone charger project has the potential to bring about significant positive social implications and benefits, particularly for individuals living in remote or underserved communities where access to electricity might be limited or unreliable. By providing a reliable, self-sufficient source of power, the charger enables individuals to maintain critical communication with the outside world, access emergency services, and stay connected to educational and economic opportunities through their devices. Moreover, the charger fosters a sense of empowerment and self-reliance among its users, allowing them to harness their own energy to charge their devices. This not only encourages healthier, active lifestyles but also fosters a stronger sense of community as individuals can share their chargers with neighbors and friends, creating a collaborative environment that supports social well-being.

The human-powered phone charger project embodies environmental consciousness and sustainable practices in its design. By utilizing human energy as a power source, the charge tackles the use of non-renewable sources of energy like fossil fuels, which contribute to greenhouse gas emissions and climate change. In addition, the human-powered phone charger promotes responsible consumption by reducing the dependency on disposable batteries or short-lived electronic devices, thereby minimizing electronic waste. Overall, the project emphasizes the importance of sustainability in engineering and serves as an inspiring example of how innovative design solutions can contribute positively to both humanity and the environment.

Team Contacts:

Ethan Nguyen: Team Leader/Controls Lead (

Aria Wasighi: Electrical Lead (

Christian Lensang: Mechanical Lead (


Professor David Copp:


Project status: 
Academic year: