Self Tying Shoe Laces to Assist Disabled People




About: The BCAMRL is a Mechatronics Research Lab, founded in 2014 on the campus of Bergen County Academies, a magnet high school within the Bergen County Technical School District. Students create innovations base...

This innovation is a modulating shoe tying machine that helps elderly and disable people to easily tie their shoes with the use of an Arduino Micro controller Uno, and 2 micro servos to tighten and loosen the laces of the shoe.

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Step 1: Finalize the Idea & Materials

To start off the project, we needed to create a way to tighten the shoe laces efficiently. We brainstormed for ways to do this, and came up with a few. Ultimately, we settled with servos onto the side of each lace, and an arduino and a bluetooth module to connect to the shoe.


2 Servos
2 Spools

1 Servo coverings

1 shoe 1 pair of laces

Arduino Micro Controller

Bluetooth Module

Step 2: Glue the Spools and Make the Case

In order to have a stable part to wrap the laces around, hot glue a spool to the top of each servo, making sure that they are stable enough to not fall apart when pulling forces are applied. To protect the servos, make a case that encloses the servo and allows the lace to still turn. I made a CAD file and then 3D printed it, but if you do not have access to a 3D printer, any case will do.

Step 3: Cut the Sole

To make a space for the arduino, we cut out the a rectangle in the sole. We will wire everything through the inside to make the shoe less bulky. Cut a piece of cardboard to cover the hole, but now there is a spot for the arduino in the heel.

Step 4: Glue the Laces

Cut down the laces so that they wrap around the spool a few times (not too short not too long). Glue them to the spool so that when the servo spins, the lace will wrap around the spool, tightening the shoe

Step 5: Paint the Shoe

Prepped the shoe and spray paint the entire shoe inducing the bottom. Added the shoe laces and tested.

Step 6: Electronics/code

We used and Arduino Uno Micro controller board, connected the servos to pin 9 & 10, the Bluetooth module was connected to 0 & 1 RX/TX. A basic Bluetooth controller app was found on Android play store and configured to turn the servos on/off. See code for the Break down of functions.



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    2 Discussions


    2 years ago

    Nice idea on paper, but (I fear) useless in practice as you've built it, unless you can find of a better placement for the servos. Anything you stick to the INSIDE part of a shoe is literally waiting for the proverbial other shoe for a collision, likely ripping both units or (worse still) tripping the elderly user into a potentially dangerous fall.

    I'll be watching for the Mk2 version of the thing with a less dangerous servo placement - I'm sure you'll be able to find a good one.


    2 years ago

    Do you have a video?