SolePower Insole Generates Power By Walking

SolePower is a cool KickStarter project that seeks to turn a Carnegie Mellon student project prototype insole that generates power as you walk into a commercial product so we can all walk our way to infinite smartphone battery life!

(SolePower at KickStarter)

This idea started as a capstone mechanical engineering design project at Carnegie Mellon University. We developed a proof-of-concept prototype for lighting up shoes so students could easily see where they were walking at night, and cars could easily see the students. We quickly realized that the power generation concept was more universal than small lights. By storing the charge in an external system, we could generate enough power to charge small, mobile electronics like cell phones. Thus, SolePower was born.

Foot-powered, energy harvesting devices aren't anything new. What we're doing differently is building the device into a removable insole so it doesn't need to be embedded in a shoe. This means you can swap it between your favorite pair of sneakers and your hiking boots.

How it works:

1. Slip SolePower into your shoe and snake the charging wire through your laces.
2. Plug the charging wire into the battery. The battery can either be fastened around your ankle or clipped to the top of your shoe.
3. Walk!
4. Unplug the battery from the insole and plug it into your device.
5. Stop to ponder how lucky you are to have a mobile, back up power source that can be used anywhere, anytime!

Fans of Frank Herbert know where I'm going with this one. In Dune, the Fremen power their still suits by the action of walking (among other motions):

Paul sat on the edge of his bed and began stripping off his desert boots. They smelled rancid from the lubricant which eased the action of the heel-powered pumps that drove his stillsuit.
(Read more about Herbert's Stillsuit desert boots from Dune Messiah)

Via SolePower at KickStarter.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 7/11/2013)

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