Art project that harvests energy from roller sneakers

Artists Christian Croft and Kate Hartman hacked a pair of Heelys roller sneakers to harvest energy for an onboard microprocessor and toe-mounted display. The shoe, titled "Energy Harvesting Dérive," displays random directions for the wearer to follow, resulting in a "random zig-zaggy path that mimics in physical space the mathematical simulation of the random or drunkard's walk." The name pays homage to 1960s art provocateurs The Situationist International who played with the concept of dérive, meaning "technique or locomotion without a goal," as they defined it. For those readers in NYC, the artists will present the Energy Harvesting Dérive at dorkbot-NYC next Wednesday.

 Projects Images Ehd 4

From the project description:

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.

Link (via We Make Money Not Art)