Engineering students from the William Marsh Rice University at Houston have developed for their culminating project, the PediPower shoes, that have a sort of pedometer-based technology which allows these shoes to convert kinetic energy into electric energy, making charging their portable electronics possible while on the go.
Cameron, a leading provider of flow equipment products, systems, and services to worldwide oil, gas, and process industries that is also based in Houston, contacted the students and encouraged them to look into micro-scale green energy technologies.
The students – Carlos Armada, Julian Castro, David Morilla, and Tyler Wiest – collaborated with the Motion Analysis Laboratory at Shriners Hospital for Children in Houston and found that the best source of potential power came from the force delivered by the heel of the foot. Although the PediPower shoes are still too big for everyday wear, the prototype created at Rice University’s Oshman Engineering Design Kitchen has met Cameron’s set benchmarks.
According to a press release on R&D Mag:
For now, the team would like to provide enough dependable power for cellphones and other portable electronics. But they’re aware that Cameron has partnered with the Texas Heart Institute to apply its expertise in moving fluids to a new generation of artificial heart pumps, and the students hope their work will contribute to that goal.
This isn’t the first time that Texas engineering students have recently developed impressive, promising technologies. A BioNews Texas article in early March highlighted how Texas A&M Students Developed a Pedal-Powered Mobile Refrigeration Vehicle For Transporting Vaccines In Developing Countries. This new Rice University team of inventors offers an impressive complement to the Texas A&M students, and once again shows how Texas is beginning to lead in the realms of education and technology.