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. Life

    What Emergency Child Care Looks Like During a Pandemic

    What's a parent to do when all of the schools and daycares suddenly close? For some workers in some places, options are starting to emerge.

  2. Illustration: two roommates share a couch with a Covid-19 virus.
    Coronavirus

    For Roommates Under Coronavirus Lockdown, There Are a Lot of New Rules

    Renters in apartments and houses share more than just germs with their roommates: Life under coronavirus lockdown means negotiating new social rules.

  3. photo: South Korean soldiers attempt to disinfect the sidewalks of Seoul's Gagnam district in response to the spread of COVID-19.
    Coronavirus

    Pandemics Are Also an Urban Planning Problem

    Will COVID-19 change how cities are designed? Michele Acuto of the Connected Cities Lab talks about density, urbanization and pandemic preparation.  

  4. photo: a For Rent sign in a window in San Francisco.
    Coronavirus

    Do Landlords Deserve a Coronavirus Bailout, Too?

    Some renters and homeowners are getting financial assistance during the economic disruption from the coronavirus pandemic. What about landlords?

  5. Equity

    The Problem With a Coronavirus Rent Strike

    Because of coronavirus, millions of tenants won’t be able to write rent checks. But calls for a rent holiday often ignore the longer-term economic effects.

×