Pinoy teen invents electricity-generating shoes

Photo via gmanews.com

Photo via gmanews.com

By Joel Locsin/TJD, GMA News – This kid would make Inspector Gadget proud.

The phrase “power walk” may soon get a new meaning, after 15-year-old Filipino high school student Angelo Casimiro invented an in-sole power generator that can fit into an ordinary sneaker.

An earlier post by ScienceAlert on the young boy’s device has already gone viral on Facebook, with over 5,000 shares in just nine hours.

Casimiro said his in-sole generator, which can charge personal devices like smartphones, can benefit Filipinos in remote areas where there is no electricity.

But Casimiro also asked Filipinos to support the device, his entry to Google’s 2014 Science Fair, by giving his YouTube video on the project a thumbs-up.

“This can supply power for personal devices especially if you live in remote areas where electricity isn’t available. It can charge flashlight(s), phones, radios and any other USB device,” he said in a YouTube video:

Also, he said the project is “ideal for smart clothing, sport apparels that sync to your smart device/phone/watch wirelessly.”

Potentially, he said shoe companies could someday use such inside generators to power fitness chips that can sync to a phone wirelessly.

He said the in-sole generator can even run Arduino and other low-power circuits such as RF and Bluetooth transmitters.

It can also be tweaked to accommodate various sensors, such as telemetry circuits for health monitoring or GPS tracking chips for hiking.

Casimiro said his tests showed he can charge a 400mAh lithium ion battery by jogging eight straight hours.

On the other hand, he said the foam pads housing the electrical components would not be a pain for the foot, adding it feels more like a “gel slip-on.”

At the heart of the device is a piezoelectric component that can generate 26 volts.

Unique take

The idea of converting human motion into electricity isn’t new, but Casimiro’s independently-designed concept is a novel take on the idea.

Instructables user “Flagella” had earlier come up with a similar shoe, but one that utilizes a mechanical dynamo instead of piezoelectric elements.

On the other hand, in 2013, startup company SolePower successfully crowdsourced funding on Kickstarter for its strap-on generator device.

Meanwhile, Casimiro’s prototype involves double piezo elements embedded into the hollow of the shoe’s heel itself.

Instructions for everyone

Casimiro showed how anyone can build their own pair of generator shoes with detailed instructions posted online.

“I’ve been making projects since I was four years old, and now I that I have earned a lot of knowledge through my experience, I now compete in the annual National Robotics Competition,” he said on his website.

He said he earned last year’s championship title, and will soon compete in Beijing in the International Robotics Olympiad this December.

Casimiro listed his hobbies as electronics, robotics, woodworking, audio, and programming (HTML, CSS, Java, PHP, C++, mySQL).

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