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Filipino Teen Creates Shoes That Can Charge a Phone by Walking

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A 15-year-old with an insatiable thirst for science has developed shoes that can charge your phone or any USB-powered device by simply walking.

Angelo Casimiro lives in the Philippines, a country still recovering from last fall's Typhoon Haiyan.

"A lot of people are still suffering from poverty," he says in a YouTube video in which he demonstrates his invention. Some people have no access to electricity, he adds. For them, "a simple source of light is big," he says.

Now Angelo is creating a new way to generate power. He placed two pairs of physio-electric discs on the insole of each shoe. The discs produce energy when any type of pressure is placed on them. That energy is then channeled to a USB port, which an electronic device can plug in to.

"My insole generator does not use coils, motors, magnets, or anything that involves moving parts," he explains. "We have a pair (of physio-electric discs) mounted back-to-back. When you make back-to-back pairs, you're able to harvest twice the power."

Even without the extra discs, Angelo's experiments with the device showed that a full battery charge could be obtained by jogging continuously for eight hours. In a separate test, the teenager gained a 10-minute phone charge by playing basketball for two straight hours.

Angelo submitted his invention to the Google Science Fair 2014. While the invention is impressive, especially because of Angelo's age, it is not the first of its kind. Hahna Alexander and Matt Stanton of Carnegie Mellon University have been working on SolePower since 2012. Last year, the project received $60,000 in a Kickstarter campaign. In April, Popular Science selected the device as one of its 2014 Invention Awards winners.

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