Jorge Chapa

ENERGY HARVESTING SNEAKERS - Art students hack Heelys!

by , 09/26/07

roller skate power, rollerskates energy, energy harvesting shoes, heely shoes, kinetic energy, derive

Pounding the pavement in your sneakers requires energy, and unfortunately, all that kinetic energy is mostly lost to the ground…. until now… Smart art students Christian Croft and Kate Harman have devised a scheme to turn regular sneakers into energy generating machines using a mini-generator and a tiny micro-computer.



roller skate power, rollerskates energy, energy harvesting shoes, heely shoes, kinetic energy, derive

Using a similar concept and technology to the kinetic energy harvesting in the Sustainable Dance Club, Christian and Kate experimented with different types of sneakers and different types of electricity generation before settling on the rolling concept using a pair of Heelys. The culmination of their sustainable energy generation project is called The Energy Harvesting Dérive – a simple hack combining a pair of Heelys rolling sneaker and an electricity generator that provides a new human-powered take on both transportation and energy.

Dérive is a Situationist International concept that refers to walking aimlessly, following the smallest whim (never let it be said that you don’t learn anything here at Inhabitat). By attaching a small motor to the shoe, they were able to get a small microcomputer and a LED screen to feed off the power generated from the shoes. The microcomputer feeds directions to the user in a random zigzag motion every 15 or 20 feet. As mentioned on their website: “The shoes force their owner to make choices about whether or not to challenge urban obstacles or interrupt automobile traffic when instructed to move in seemingly hard to traverse directions.”

Check out this video of the shoes powering LED lights:

+ The Energy Harvesting Derive

+ Kinetic Energy Harvesting: The Sustainable Dance Club

+ Powering your building with human motion

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6 Comments

  1. Funkive › Energy... October 7, 2007 at 7:03 pm

    [...] To see more check out this site – my new favourite find This was written by greer. Posted on Sunday, October 7, 2007, at 4:03 pm. Filed under Oh Yeah!!, 312. Bookmark the permalink. Follow comments here with the RSS feed. Post a comment or leave a trackback. [...]

  2. Naomi October 2, 2007 at 6:44 pm

    This is just the start… ideas like this spur creativity and problem solving! Good going.

    Eventhough, yeah… the airports certainly would FREAK OUT if one even stepped foot in the building…. forget about the security line… you’d be hauled in before you got that far! ;-)

    Still… ideas like this one need to be supported and encouraged. Way to go art students!

    -Naomi

  3. pinchas September 27, 2007 at 10:13 am

    Art student Heely hackers

    Could you contact me at pinchasperry@mac.com re a photography project?

  4. elliot September 26, 2007 at 1:56 pm

    Dear Nanne,
    You took the words right out of my mouth.

  5. nanne September 26, 2007 at 12:26 pm

    You’d better not be caught wearing this in an airport.

    http://blog.wired.com/wiredscience/2007/09/boston-airport-.html

  6. Matt September 26, 2007 at 9:38 am

    Very cool idea.

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