Self-Lacing LEGO Power Shoe

Here’s a blast from the past, or future, reminiscent of the self-lacing shoes from Back to the Future Part II. [Vimal Patel] made his own self-lacing shoe using LEGO “bolted” to the shoe’s sole. We think these are cooler than the movie version since we get to see the mechanism in action, urging it on as the motor gets loaded down pulling the laces for that last little bit of tightness.

The electronics are all LEGO’s Power Functions parts. A Dremel was used to make holes in the soles to hot glue LEGO pieces for four attachment points. The attachment points are permanent but the rest can be easily removed. In case you want to look them up or make your own, he’s using the using the 8878 rechargeable LiPo battery box, the 88003 L-motor, the 8884 IR receiver, and the 8885 IR remote control. That’s right, these shoes are laced up under command of an IR remote control, well, provided the battery box is powered on. There’s a 1:24 worm gear reduction to get the needed torque.

This was a quick build for [Patel], done over two afternoons. He initially tried with the winding axle behind the heel but that didn’t work well so he moved the axle adjacent to the laces instead, which works great as you can see in the video after the break.

The isn’t as true to the look of BttF as the powerlace hack we saw seven years ago but we think it does a better job of snugging up the laces. [Patel] has been featured here before with his LEGO water strider robot that reminds us of those insects you see skittering across the surface of ponds. He also made a LEGO attachment for a hot glue gun for extruding biodegradable filament.

12 thoughts on “Self-Lacing LEGO Power Shoe

  1. lace, oh so dainty. We call them shoestrings and tie them. Lacing might apply to the act of stringing up (over or under etc.) a fresh shoe. This just cinches or draws up tension without cinching the top most needed course. Like holeywood it is fantasy. How about a belt that adjusts to meals etc. Added bonus controls over eating.

    1. I often hear either shoelace or shoestring, though I seem to favor shoelace. “Lacing up you shoe” is a pretty common phrase meaning to tie them. Hmmm… when doing some searches for this article I recall seeing self-lacing in reference to the Back to the Future shoes quite a bit, even though no laces were involved there, unlike with the above one which does have laces.
      How should the belt that adjusts to meals determine how much to adjust by? A stretch sensor around the waist? A scale under the plate of food?

    1. *cannot actually wear this anywhere because it would immediately break apart if you were to hit it with anything*

      Neat idea but a far cry from anything you could use in the current form. Also, previously filed patents, looking at you.

      1. whoa, really? you mean a shoe with lego bricks hanging off it isn’t suitable for actually walking around in? who do you think reading this website can’t tell these things?

        1. Hasn’t stopped people from trying before.

          Plus, some people try to build houses out of LEGO.

          Obviously not as an actual material to build a house out of but it is certainly noteworthy enough to generate quite a good bit of buzz.

  2. I am seriously disappointed that no one has yet made a automatic lacing shoe out of a pair of RedWing boots that use the Boa Lacing system. All of the hard work is already done for your design, just need to design a way to spin the dial.

    I am 1 year in to my second pair of RedWing 6640 Boa Lace shoes. My first pair lasted over 5 years as my daily shoes. I still use them as work shoes around the house, but they are a bit to scruffy for the office. Anyhow, the mechanism is designed very well my 6 year old pair is still on the original laces.
    http://www.redwingshoes.com/red-wing-shoe/6640-red-wing-shoes/6640-red-wing-mens-athletic-black

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