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Filipino teen creates energy-generating shoes

06 Jun 2014

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It is now possible to generate electricity to power your portable devices by simply walking after a teenager from the Philippines invented an in-sole power generator that can fit in to any rubber shoes, reports from Science Alert and GMA News Online stated.

Angelo Casimiro, a 15-year-old high school student, created the device as his submission to the 2014 Google Science Fair.

The in-sole generator, Casimiro said in his YouTube video, can charge electronic devices like smartphones, flashlights, radios, and many other USB gadgets, adding that it can especially benefit people who are living in remote areas where electricity is scarce or absent.

He also said that the generator has a huge potential for "smart clothing" and "sport apparels," powering fitness chips that sync to wearable or portable devices wirelessly. Apart from this, the device can also run Arduino and other low-power circuits, such as RF and Bluetooth transmitters. It can also be adjusted to utilise various sensors like telemetry circuits for monitoring vital stats or GPS tracking chips for dead reckoning.

Tests run by Casimiro showed that the generator can charge a 400mA lithium-ion battery by jogging eight hours straight, with a piezoelectric component responsible for generating 26V. The electrical components of the device are housed in foam pads, which also act as a shock absorber, making the shoes comfortable to wear.

In-sole generator

The young Filipino inventor was even kind enough to share how to create the device for others to try and emulate. A detailed instruction can be found over TreeHugger and Instructables. The basic parts and materials needed include a generic USB powerbank, piezoelectric transducers, rectifier diodes, hookup wire (at least 12in), a pair of shoes, and adhesive tape.

Casimiro's novel take on the conversion of human motion into electricity is not a new concept. Similar projects have already been made in the past, such as the shoe generator designed by "Flagella," also an Instructables user, who made use of a dynamo in place of a piezoelectric transducer. Also in 2013 via Kickstarter, start-up company SolePower crowdsourced funding for its strap-on generator device.

Casimiro is asking for support for his entry to the 2014 Google Science Fair by giving a thumbs up to his in-sole generator project video on YouTube.

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