Innovation — Step by Step-Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship - Carnegie Mellon University

Friday, August 9, 2013

Innovation — Step by Step

When it comes to groundbreaking innovation, everyone knows that Carnegie Mellon University students can really use their heads. But Matthew Stanton (E'12,'12) and Hahna Alexander (E'12,'12) — with their startup SolePower — have shown they can also use their feet.

The recent graduates have developed a shoe insole that captures the energy of walking, converting it to usable electrical power stored in an external battery. This power can be used on-the-go to charge portable electronic devices like cell phones, GPS devices and cameras.

A tiny electromagnetic generator is embedded in the insole. A charging wire snakes through the shoelaces and into a rechargeable battery attached around the ankle or clipped to the shoe. To charge a device, remove the charged battery — replacing it with a second, uncharged one if you'd like to keep walking — and plug the charged battery into any ordinary USB compatible charging port.

It all began when Stanton and Alexander teamed up to complete a mechanical engineering capstone design project. Inspired by students traversing campus in the dark, they set out to design shoes capable of illumination through the power of walking...Read more»

By: Carnegie Mellon University: Homepage Stories