Mad About a Dead Cell Phone Battery? Just Walk it Off

There have been literally hundreds of designs meant to use a person’s regular daily motions to charge their gadgets. But until now, most of them have seemed reasonable and even sort of clever. That is not quite the case with the Walk Charge Shoe designed by Tao Ma.

The shoe looks like an uncomfortable rubber Crocs-like affair with two tiny turbines in the toe section of each. As the wearer walks or runs, the turbines turn with the passing air. The turbines generate a bit of electricity which is stored in the on-board battery in each shoe.

When the wearer is finished walking or running, she can sit down and plug a gadget right into the USB port in the back of each shoe. The concept itself is not a bad one, but the execution seems a little clumsy; kinetic energy can be more easily captured than putting easily-broken turbines into the toes of shoes. Still, we have to applaud any designer who takes a unique approach to renewable energy design.

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See more in Energy & Power or under Science. August, 2011.