Soon there will be a windmill for your exhale, too.

Engineering students at Rice University have detected a leak in the system of human energy use: the force we waste on the impact of each footstep.

So they've created a pair of shoes that will harvest the energy of the heel strike with little effect on the stride of the wearer. (Researchers at USC developed a similar concept a few years ago that involves piezoelectric crystals, but we've yet to see it in use.)

They're not stylish, but they work. The students recommend that whichever enterprising inventor follows in their footsteps focuses on making the device smaller and lighter.

HT: Laughing Squid.

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. photo: San Diego's Trolley
    Transportation

    Out of Darkness, Light Rail!

    In an era of austere federal funding for urban public transportation, light rail seemed to make sense. Did the little trains of the 1980s pull their own weight?

  2. Schools

    One Answer to School Attendance: Washing Machines

    When washers and dryers were added to 17 schools through a new program, attendance rates shot up.

  3. A photo of a police officer in El Paso, Texas.
    Equity

    What New Research Says About Race and Police Shootings

    Two new studies have revived the long-running debate over how police respond to white criminal suspects versus African Americans.

  4. Transportation

    In Paris, a Very Progressive Agenda Is Going Mainstream

    Boosted by big sustainability wins, Mayor Anne Hidalgo is pitching bold plans to make the city center “100 percent bicycle” and turn office space into housing.

  5. photo: subway in NYC
    Transportation

    Inside Bloomberg's $1 Trillion Infrastructure Plan

    Drawing on his time as New York City mayor, Michael Bloomberg proposes handing power and money to urban leaders as part of his Democratic presidential bid.

×