Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Shoes That Generate Energy

Here is something ineresting I bumped into this morning.

A team of undergrads at MIT -- led by Shakeel Avadhany and Zack Anderson -- has produced a prototype of a shock absorber for vehicles which can harness and generate electricity back into the vehicle. The team claims that their prototype increases a vehicle's fuel-efficiency by up to 10 percent by using a "hydraulic system that forces fluid through a turbine attached to a generator."

That got me thinking about a shoe that would give back energy to the "system".

Modern running shoes are designed to be shock absorbers. Running shoe companies like Nike have spent millions on studying the damaging effects of heel shock and how to mitigate it. But this has been a passive system meant to buffer and not add energy to the system.

What if you designed a shoe that would generate a small current as it shock absorbed. that energy could be used to stimulate the feet with light vibration. It could be used to feed more information from under foot into the nervous system therby giving us a more exact picture of our body position like the iShoe

Or it could contribute to less foot fatigue by a light massage to break up the harmful stress patterns that form over a day. How do you see this generated energy being put to use?

Of course there are those who would say why not just use a battery. What fun are they?

Kevin Kunz

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