Prototype shoes harness energy just from walking.
Our daily lives would come to a halt without power. As alternative sources of energy are increasingly needed around the globe, researchers are looking at this challenge from many creative angles.
Mechanical engineering students at Rice University have developed an innovative prototype in the form of footwear.
Their PediPower shoes harness energy from just walking. The researchers teamed up with the Movement Analysis Laboratory at Shriners Hospital for Children in Houston, Texas to create the sneakers.
A lever arm built into the heel of the shoe activates a gear box with every step. The gears power a motor mounted on the shoe’s exterior and the resulting electricity is stored in a battery pack worn by the walker.
Although the footwear is currently big and less-than-pretty, the sneakers serve as a literal stepping stone. The students hope that the simple act of walking can be used to generate energy for the powering of medical instruments like pacemakers and artificial hearts.
What do you think? How do you like the concept?