Ever wondered how it’d be like generating electricity while walking? A team of students at Rice University have created PediPower – a device that, embedded in the soles of your shoes, generate as much as 400 mW of power to charge the batteries of mobile devices you’re
stuck with wearing.
The PediPower was born as a conclusion of the students that heels and the balls of your toes absorb most of the energy while you walk. After analyzing the force distribution in their lab, the students came up with the conclusion that it’s actually gravity doing the work that they’re extracting energy from.
The project has been ordered by Cameron, a company from Houston, TX, and the device meets the requirements.
“The PediPower hits the ground before any other part of the prototype shoe. A lever arm strikes first. It is attached to a gearbox that replaces much of the shoe’s sole and turns the gears a little with each step. The gears drive a motor mounted on the outside of the shoe that generates electricity to send up to the battery,” says the Rice press release.
Well, the prototype is not actually usable in everyday conditions (see picture), but it is a proof of concept that such thing might actually work.
Cameron have pushed the idea that such a device could be used to power heart implants – very scary, if you think that your life depends on how much you move. Nevertheless, the idea to use it as a personal power generator for gadgets is as good as it can be.