Artists Christian Croft and Kate Hartman hacked a Heely rolling sneaker to "transform it into a platform for generating electricity from human motion." That's the hacking, now the art:
This work applies its energy towards a more playful application in hopes to promote discussion in the realm of sustainable energy development and alternative transportation design. Electricity harvested from rolling powers a microcomputer and lcd display embedded on the shoe to deliver random directions for a pedestrian to follow. Arrows and text show up on the screen display telling the wearer which direction she should travel next -- North, Northeast, Southwest, etc. Depending on the speed of rolling, a directive appears on the screen every 15 to 20 feet. These directions drive the wearer to follow a random zig-zaggy path that mimics in physical space the mathematical simulation of the random or drunkard's walk.
Wheeled shoe power lights up LED panel and buzzer
Locative add-ons to the existing prototype such as GPS are feasible, of course, but the intention of these shoes is currently to incite their users to get lost and explore territory outside of their typical transport routines. The shoes force their owner to make choices about whether or not to challenge urban obstacles or interrupt automobile traffic when instructed to move in seemingly hard to traverse directions. Participating in an Energy Harvesting Dérive thus fosters an exploration of the city and its flows. It reveals the impacts of urban planning decisions and encourages users to act out and playfully brainstorm alternative modes of transport and energy.
Regine at ::WMMNA notes that The project will be presented at dorkbot NYc on September 5, 2007, at 7pm and during the Conflux Festival in Brooklyn on Sunday, September 16, 2007, 12:00pm — 5:00pm. ::Energy Harvesting Dérive