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Shoe-Mounted Generator Powers Portable Electronics

Senior engineering students at Rice University have created the PediPower - a prototype generator that turns motion into energy for small electronics and, eventually, for life-preserving medical devices. Houston, TX-based company Cameron approached the engineering team with the project. The prototype shoes deliver an average of 400 milliwatts, enough to charge a battery, and send energy through wires to a belt-mounted battery pack. A voltage regulator keeps it flowing steadily to the battery. The PediPower hits the ground before any other part of the shoe. A lever arm strikes first, and is attached to a gearbox that replaces much of the shoe's sole and turns the gears a little with each step. The gears drive a motor mounted on the outside of the shoe that generates electricity to send up to the battery.