May 27 2013, 12:36pm CDT | by Sumayah Aamir
They look like ordinary hiking boots at first sight. But they are much more than that. These PediPower shoes have an electronic servomotor device in them that stores the energy generated from walking in them. They are an awesome example of the fact that what the mind can conceive and believe the human hands can achieve (with a little help from technology of course). They were just a couple of mechanical engineering students hailing from Rice University and they thought up the technical details that led to this invention par excellence.
Comprising four gifted individuals with a little bit of gumption, the quartet invented from scratch a pair of shoes that squeezed every erg of energy from the simple act of walking. And it was all done for their graduation project. The energy that got stored was useful for mobile devices and maybe, in the future, medical life support systems. This is a prime example of environment-conscious inventions that help the earth remain green and pollution-free. A Texan company by the name of Cameron approached the foursome for cooperation regarding patenting and marketing the device.
A generator that fits in a shoe was the dream of this team of scientifically-minded tinkerers who called themselves the Agitation Squad. A previously invented device that used knee-bending motion for energy storage had been observed very closely by these highly intelligent heroes. Working in tandem with a formal lab, the four young men spent days and nights in search of the ideal solution. And finally they found it. While the prototype is too heavy and unwieldy for an average shoe wearer, improvements have been made and they point towards a practical and feasible sample.
Up until now they have been able to generate a total of 400 milli-watts of energy with this wearable technology. That day is not far away when PediPower becomes a viable product that will sell like hotcakes in the market. For now it can be practicable enough to recharge mobile phone batteries. But as they say: today India, tomorrow the world. A future eon when people will be generating enough electricity to light their households by merely taking a brief jogging session across the neighborhood block is not an impossible scheme. It may yet lie in the human imagination but that is precisely the reason why it must be brought out in the light of day to become a fundamental part of reality.
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