Thanks to the creativity of a 15-year-old high school student, taking a “power walk” could soon take on a much more literal meaning.
Angelo Casimiro, a young Filipino inventor, created an insole physio-electric generator that can fit into an ordinary shoe and actually charge a smartphone.
“It actually feels like a gel slip-on,” Casimiro said in a YouTube video highlighting the project.
So how does it work?
“My insole generator does not use coils, motors, magnets, or anything that involves moving parts,” Casimiro said. “I only have two pairs of physio-electric discs … the [discs] produce energy when both crystals bend inward.”
Physico-electric elements produce electricity when they are actuated, or put under mechanical stress, such as being pressed, pushed or stepped on.
The attempt to harness naturally occurring movement as an energy generation source is valuable, though Casimiro’s first hack may need some tweaks. He said after subjecting the insole to tests, he could fully charge a 400 mAh Li-ion battery after jogging for eight straight hours. That’s a little more than an average person’s daily movement of roughly 7,000 steps.
But with a few improvements, Casimiro’s invention could be an ideal solution for generating energy for a variety of users, like his fellow Filipinos in remote villages without access to electricity, or for personal devices like smartphones, and GPS devices for campers or hikers.
“GPS devices can be mounted on shoes, having the insole generator as it’s main energy source. This way, batteries are not required,” Casimiro said. “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.”
An earlier post by ScienceAlert on the boy’s device has already gone viral on Facebook, with over 5,000 shares in just nine hours, according to GMA Network. Casimiro asked his fellow Filipinos and tech fans to support his entry into Google’s 2014 Science Fair by giving his YouTube video on the project a thumbs-up.
Check out Casimiro’s videos below; fast-forward the first clip to roughly 2:55 to see his explanation of his shoe concept, and then watched the second to see a demonstration of the insert.
(H/T: GMA Network)
Follow Elizabeth Kreft (@elizabethakreft) on Twitter