Rice Students Develop Electric Shoes that May Someday Power Medical Devices
Four seniors at Rice University have invented shoes that extract energy with every step and turn it into “juice” to power portable electronics and, perhaps someday, life-preserving medical devices.
For a project required for graduation, the mechanical engineering students invented PediPower shoes, which deliver 400 milliwatts of energy through wires that connect the shoes to a belt-mounted battery pack.
The students developed the idea after being approached by Cameron Industries, a Houston-based oilfield equipment manufacturer. Cameron asked the students to investigate green energy technologies.
To address the request, students Carlos Armada, Julian Castro, David Morilla and Tyler Wiest decided to focus their attention where the rubber meets the road to create a shoe-mounted energy generator. The “Agitation Squad” as the students named themselves, knew of a previously patented device that draws energy from the motion of the knee, and decided to apply those principles to the foot.
Working with the Motion Analysis Laboratory at Shriners Hospital for Children in the Texas Medical Center, the students discovered that the force at the heel delivered far more potential for power than any other part of the foot, so they selected the heel-portion of the shoe to generate power ... read more »