Heel treads make shoes go

Motorized treads as a replacement for the heel of your shoe? Okay, remember how The Jetsons had moving sidewalks everywhere so you wouldn’t have to walk at all? Well, there’s a much more efficient way to do it and Treadway Mobility seems to have figured it out. In the video after the break you can see several of their prototype units zipping the wearer around quite happily. We think the best part is that with the tread locked in place you can stand and walk like normal, assuming you don’t feel like you have a block of concrete attached to each foot. Maybe the real question is which is more geeky, this or the power lace shoes?

[Thanks Edward]

50 thoughts on “Heel treads make shoes go

  1. Lugging around that huge contraption is going to turn everyone off… Those kid-shoes (rollies?) actually look more appealing than these

  2. haha, the last version was pretty badass. i like how much the design changed through the revisions, i bet if they keep it up they’re going to end up with some really neat designs.

  3. mythbusters did the same kind of thing if you watch the opening clip of season(s) 1 and 2 i think one of the mythbusters made something out of roller scates and powered them with a pair of drills

  4. “The human portrayl in the movie Wall-E seems more plausible every day.”

    “The human portrayl in the movie Wall-E seems more plausible every day.”

    With mandatory comment moderation you would think that duplicates wouldn’t be a problem, just saying ;D

  5. @Jeff: They’re called Heelys. I’d rather use those, I think, than this contraption. No batteries to run out or carry around. And, it’s impossible to have the switch stick causing runaway shoes.

  6. @rasz – “keeping balance burns as much as walking”

    Site ANY legit source that backs up such a dumbass statement.

  7. Good idea I guess… But he can even walk around normally in those shoes. I wouldnt waste my time with this design or my money.

  8. @Vonskippy It’s not that far fetched that keeping balance is good exercise. Your muscles has to constantly adjust to stabilize your body. So your legs, core, neck region is getting a descent resistance workout. On the other hand I doubt it’s as much exercise as walking though.

  9. So effing want.

    Now I wonder just what motors I’ve got lying about in the junkboxes at my hackerspace…

  10. Hmm I would have used something better as a base instead of Heelys. If you have ever ownd a pair riding them long distances while keeping you heel held up starts to wear out your ankle muscle. I would have put some sort of supporting wheel in the front that way theres no discomfort on a long ride. Ohh and what ever you do dont go down a hill on those, A stick about the size of a linkin log will put you in a hospital.

  11. My wife has very limited mobility, depending on exactly how hard these are to balance, they could revolutionise a lot of peoples life. Cool stuff and i hope they make it on to market.

  12. Yeah, and that’s a nice limp they cause when you try and walk with them — real good for your joints, I’m sure.

  13. This is really cool stuff.

    Personally, I’d rather have a working pair of those gasoline-powered Russian piston boots.

  14. IMO opinion as about as useless for the general population, as the Segway is. As long as they are having fun with the development & build, why should I care? I wonder how many will see bomb when the spot that battery pack?

  15. @Ricky Speaking from the perspective of one who had to learn to relearn how walk and many other things, at age 37. While it would be relative to the individual, I doubt these could work out for those who’s limited mobility makes it difficult to walk or walk any distance.

  16. The GO button combined with the battery pack totally spells bomb. I dont think these devices will sell at all (if that is what they plan on doing with them) except maybe to warehouse personel or people at CERN, but selling doesnt matter when you are designing.

  17. @Josh, @Mr.Sandman,

    If the shoes start running away, just consult Toyota for a solution :P

  18. For added stability, you could go the Landspinner route: Have the drivewheel on an arm than folds up against the back of the calf. The action of lowering the arm also lowers the front wheel below the level of the sole (so it contacts the ground). This both moves the centre of mass higher up to ease walking (especially without the idle wheel in contact with the ground), and extends the wheelbase when driving to increase the acceleration possible before falling over.

  19. I had an idea like those large-wheeled things in the start of the video ages ago. I don’t care about motorisation, I’d just like a pair of rollerblades that I can “switch off” any time I need to start walking instead of rolling.

  20. @sM10sM20

    What do you mean by that? The first time I hit the submit button nothing happened so I clicked it again. And sure enough, double post. I couldn’t find any way to delete or edit..

  21. Cool. But do these impair your judgment or make you color-blind? This guy parks in the RED zone! This video shows ‘illegal’ parking routines and should be removed.

  22. I think I’m going to have to build something like that. I’d have invested in a pair of Heelys before now, but they don’t come in my size. So I have to build it from scratch. :(

  23. Wow, I need to make myself a pair of those, they seem awesome. I wouldn’t even mind walking w/o the motors enabled. I’d make these and integrate those power lace shoes that were posted a few days ago.

  24. I think its a great idea. Once they get a powerful and small enough motor to fit inside the tread, these will be awesome!

  25. Ok, so they may not be practical in their current form but the idea and design revisions are cool to see. If they can be shrunk enough to be like the “rollie” shoes kids have then they’d be kick @$$

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