Team Stars, a five-student team from Southwest Oregon Community College, easily admits that they were setting out to build something from science fiction when they decided to come up with a way to build a self-tying shoe.
But there's also a serious side to their mission. Elderly individuals and those who have suffered strokes often struggle with the process of putting on shoes. A self-tying model will be a snap to put on, tighten, and walk out the door. They envision a broad market for everyone from a 14-year-old who just thinks a self-tying shoe is cool to those who aren't physically able to bend down and tie a shoe.
The students developed the self-tying shoe prototype as part of SOCC's South Coast Innovation Challenge. The team will bring their invention to the InventOR Collegiate Challenge semifinal round in May.
The team ultimately has plans to create a 3-D printed system for a self-tying shoe powered by a tiny motor that runs on rechargeable batteries. They also want to add bluetooth technology that could automatically release the tension at the back of the heel to free the foot from the shoe.
Team Stars has already received publicity for its invention from the local news. Check out the segment from KVAL here.