Remember the 1980s, when velcro sneakers were the hip new thing? (Incidentally, VELCRO® is a registered trademark for VELCRO® brank hook-and-loop fasteners but we use it here as a general term for the fastening technology). Only the coolest kids in school had a fresh pair of Zips. Velcro left a bit to be desired though. The hooks and loops would wear out, and the sneakers always seemed to pop apart at the worst possible moments — like when running or jumping. These days, velcro seems to be relegated to the elderly, which gives it the stigma of “old people shoes”.
So what is an aspiring hacker to do, just tie their shoelaces like a simple plebe? [Pentland_Designs] has the answer with his shoelace locks. The design is his take on the classic plastic clip found on backpacks and jackets. [Pentland_Designs] has added a twist though — a “button” which flexes a plastic ring, releasing the main body of the clip. This means the user doesn’t have to bend down when taking off their shoes. This isn’t just good for folks with disabilities. Anyone with back problems will tell you that avoiding a couple of deep bends at the end of the day helps a lot.
Check out the video of [Pentland_Designs] Shoelace locks after the break. For more shoe-tech, check out these LEGO self-lacing shoes, or this teardown of Nike’s self-lacing offering.
Continue reading “Shoelace Locks Keep your Fancy Footwear Firmly Attached”
It’s been said that necessity is the mother of all invention. This was probably the fundamental principle behind the show “Inspector Gadget”, a story about a police agent who has literally any technology at his grasp whenever he needs it. Although the Inspector’s gadgets get him into trouble more often than not (his niece Penny usually solves the actual crimes), the Inspector-inspired shoes that [Make it Extreme] built are a little bit more useful than whatever the Inspector happens to have up his sleeve (or pant leg, as the case may be).
If a fabrication tour de force, [Make it Extreme] built their own “Go Go Gadget Legs”, a set of pneumatically controlled stilts that allow the wearer to increase their height significantly at the push of a button. We often see drywall contractors wearing stilts of a similar height, but haven’t seen any that are able to raise and lower the wearer at will. The team built the legs from scratch, machining almost every component (including the air pistons) from stock metal. After some controls were added and some testing was done, the team found that raising one foot at a time was the safer route, although both can be raised for a more impressive-looking demonstration that is likely to throw the wearer off balance.
The quality of this build and the polish of the final product are incredibly high. If you have your own machine shop at home this sort of project might be within your reach (pun intended). If all you have on hand is a welder, though, you might be able to put together one of [Make it Extreme]’s other famous builds: a beer gun.
Continue reading “Scissor Lift Shoes May Be OSHA Compliant”
When we think of wearable technologies, ballet shoes aren’t the first devices that come to mind. In fact, the E-Traces pointé shoes by [Lesia Trubat] may be the first ever “connected ballet shoe.” This project captures the movement and pressure of the dancer’s feet and provides this data to a phone over Bluetooth.
The shoes are based on the Lilypad Arduino clone, which is designed for sewing into wearables. It appears that 3 force sensitive resistors are used as analog pressure sensors, measuring the force applied on the ground by the dancer’s feet. A Lilypad Accelerometer measures the acceleration of the feet.
This data is combined in an app running on an iPhone, which allows the dancer to “draw” patterns based on their dance movements. This creates a video of the motion based on the dance performed, and also collects data that can be used to analyze the dance movements after the fact.
While these shoes are focused on ballet, [Lesia] points out that the same technique could be extended to other forms of dance for both training and visualization purposes.
Winter may be coming to a close but that doesn’t mean that feet are free from being cold. Sure, socks or slippers may help a little, or you can even turn up the heat in your home but none of those options are as fun or as dangerous as [Colin Furze’s] solution. He has come up with some crazy DIY heated slippers.
Sure, there’s battery powered heated slippers or even ones you can microwave to heat up but those are wicked boring. These puppies are actually gas powered and more resemble a small portable camping stove than any sort of footwear. Under each slipper is a custom-made burning chamber inside which is a small burner. Each slipper is supplied a constant flow of fuel from its own on-board gas can. Warming your feet couldn’t be easier, just turn on the gas and light the burner with a match.
It goes without saying but we should reiterate… Don’t try this at home! What you can try is watching the video of these slippers after the break.
[Colin Furze] is not new to having his projects on Hackaday. For more of his flame-based projects, check out his Pyro Gloves. And of course, who could forget these amazing retractable Wolverine Claws.
Continue reading “Heated Slippers keep your Feet Warm, also your House as it Burns to the Ground.”
With the world’s first hoverboard being shown a few days ago, we’re on the verge of the fabulous world of tomorrow from Back to the Future. Hoverboards are cool, but there’s a wealth of other cool technology from the far-off year of 2015: Mr. Fusions, inflatable pizza, Dustbusters, and of course, Nikes with power laces. [Hunter] just built them, and with the right shoes, to boot.
[Hunter] is using the BttF-inspired Nike Air Mag shoes for this build, along with a few bits of electronics – an Arduino pro mini, a force sensing resistor, and a motor. The build began by carving out a notch in the back of the shoe for the electronics. A small bit of fishing line goes around the shoe, providing the power behind the power laces.
A force sensitive resistor under the heel of the insole tells the microcontroller when a foot is inside the shoe, and a rotary encoder on the motor shaft makes sure all the power lace cycles are the same. It’s not quite the same as the shoe seen on screen – the lower laces can’t be replicated and it’s certainly not as fast as the BttF shoes, but it does work, and as far as shoelaces are concerned, they work well.
Continue reading “Nikes With Power Laces, Just in Time for Next Year”
We’re hoping that whomever came up with the idea of integrating LEDs into children’s shoes is kicking back on a beach somewhere living off the residuals of the idea. We see those things everywhere. Now the real question is, if you grew up with LEDs in your shoes do you expect cooler light up kicks as you age? [Becky Stern] must think so and that’s why she’s showing off Adafruit’s addressable LED strip shoe project called Firewalker.
This is prototype rather than product, so you can see the Arduino compatible Flora board on the ankle of the lit shoe above. There’s also a battery pack hitching a ride on the laces. But those worried about that fashion faux pas can work on a more finished driver that straps to your calf, or can be integrated in the insole.
Lighting patterns are set off by Velostat, a pressure-sensitive conductive sheet that goes in the heel of the insole. The Flora board measures the resistance, triggering a light show (embedded below) when it drops. Now we just need someone to integrate a power generator based on your movement.
Continue reading “As Millenials grow up do they demand cooler LED sneakers?”
Even though giant multouch display tables have been around for a few years now we have yet to see them being used in the wild. While the barrier to entry for a Microsoft Surface is very high, one of the biggest problems in implementing a touch table is one of interaction; how exactly should the display interpret multiple commands from multiple users? [Stephan], [Christian], and [Patrick] came up with an interesting solution to sorting out who is touching where by having a computer look at shoes.
The system uses a Kinect mounted on the edge of a table to extract users from the depth images. From there, interaction on the display can be pinned to a specific user based on hand and arm orientation. As an added bonus the computer can also recognize users from their shoes. If a user is wearing a pair of shoes the computer recognizes, they’ll just walk up to the table and the software will recognize them.
Continue reading “Nice shoes, wanna recognize some input?”