This Instructable will show you how to create a shoe that generates electricity. It does this by using your energy when you walk and converts it into electricity. If you've ever lost power to your cell phone in the middle of nowhere, then you know how frustrating it can be. But with this shoe, you can charge an electronic device anytime, anywhere.
The concept and design are really actually simple. You get a small generator from a rechargeable flashlight, rig it up so you can turn the generator axle when you step down, and channel that energy to a cell phone's (or other device's) charger cord. You can use this when you are jogging or walking or just when you're sitting down and feel like tapping your foot.
The materials are really pretty cheap and the project is easy to make. The only thing that you will have to adjust for is that you probable won't have the same kind of shoe I have. So you might need to make some adjustments, but the concept is still the same.
Step 1: Materials
First of all, you obviously need a shoe. I suggest getting a shoe with the thickest sole available because you'll need to put stuff inside.
Next, you'll need two rechargeable flashlights for their generators. The two pictured below are the two I used and the next picture is one of their generators. I got the flashlights from my local Radio Shack and the brand is MegaBrite.
The other materials are: a spring, some wood, a small piece of re-bar, some thick wire, some small screws, and a cell phone charger.
As far as tools go, you'll need some basic hand tools, a drill, a band saw (unless you want to do it by hand), and some electrical tape.
Step 2: Hollow Out the Shoe
The first step is to hollow out the shoe so you can put all the stuff in it. I did this using a utility knife and some pliers. Try not to mutilate the shoe and don't cut all the way to the edges. Leave some rubber along the edges as shown for structural integrity.
Next, drill a hole in the back or side of the shoe. This is where your charger cord will go in and connect to the generators.
Step 3: Dissect Flashlights
Next, dissect you flashlights and get the generators out. Keep them connected to their gear assemblies because these will be used as well. Also, keep all the screws from the flashlight because you might be able to use them later.
Step 4: Front Assembly
This front assembly will hold the two generator sets and the whole thing will connect to the shoe. First. cut two small, long pieces of wood. Make them about 2-3" long and about 1" high. Then, connect the generator sets to the pieces of wood as shown in the picture. Finally, screw these two pieces on to a center block, as illustrated in the next picture.
Step 5: Connect the Axle
Now, you connect the axle which will turn both sets of gears. Take the two biggest gears which came with the flashlights and connect them to a long skinny block. You will probably want to make your block longer than mine because then it is easier to work with. This block and later attachment will be the lever which is what will pushed down on when you step down on the shoe.
Next, connect the axle to the front assembly. You just need to slide it onto the generator assemblies. This will probably be easier if you put this on while you're putting together the front assembly.
Step 6: The Back Block
The back block will be used to hold the other side of the generator assemblies and to hold the spring. Mine looks sort of rough, but it worked pretty well. You can easily make this piece on a band saw and fashion it out so it will fit the shoe you are working with.
The front part will connect with the generator assemblies and the two tower-like appendages are for holding the spring.
Its not shown in the picture, but you will need to drill a hole in each tower so a wire will be able to pass through.
Step 7: The Spring
The spring is used to push the lever back to the starting position after it has been depressed.
I started by cutting a small piece of re-bar and putting a hole in it. This will go in between the two towers of the back block and the wire will go through the hole. Then, I got a small spring and slid it over the re-bar.
Now the whole thing is ready to together and in the shoe.
Step 8: Putting It All Together
Now we have to put it all together. First, connect the back block to the front assembly. Then, slide the whole thing into the shoe and screw it into the sole.
Next, cut the cord off of your cell-phone charger and split and strip the ends. Pass the cord through the back hole of the shoe and connect the charger wires to the generator wires. Finally, wrap the exposed part of the wires in electrical tape.
Now for the spring. Drill a hole on each side of the shoe, about where the holes in the towers are. Now pass a wire through the shoe, back block, and spring assembly. Then cut the wire on each side to about 1" and just fold it over.
All that is left now is connecting the rest of the lever.
Step 9: The Lever
Now you connect the lever which is the part which you actually step down on. I drilled a series of hole in one side of a skinny piece of wood, then threaded it onto the spring. Then I connected it to the axle wood with some strips of gutter pipe and some screws. It doesn't look too fancy, but it is actually pretty sturdy.
Step 10: Fininishing Touches/ Conclusion
Now you're finally done. You can add some finishing touches by filling in the extra spaces with clear silicone, smoothing any edges, and giving your shoe a good shine!
Just in case you're in doubt, the shoe really does create electricity. Even though it doesn't look very fancy, I think its pretty cool that you have an independent and green power source wherever you go. All you have to do is walk.
Again, you will probably have to make adjustments for you model because I doubt your shoe will be like mine, but it should be basically the same.
Good luck with your project and thanks for reading my Instructable.
Participated in the
Participated in the
Earthjustice United States of Efficiency Contest