Mini vacuum cleaner in shoe
T Chris Ananth
Tirunelveli, Tamil Nadu

IGNITE 2010 - 2010

What's the Big Idea?

Usually, mothers nag their children to keep the house clean. But young Chris's idea will bring a smile to any mother's face. He proposes a shoe that cleans as you walk.

The shoe has a suction device to suck in dust and deposit it in a small bag inside the shoe. So to have a clean house, simply walk around wearing these shoes.

Chris received the IGNITE award when he was in class 1, making him the youngest winner.


What's truly impressive about this idea is that Chris has combined two concepts. The inspiration was of course his mother. "Our vacuum cleaner is bulky and I thought it would be nice if she did not have to carry it around while cleaning," he shared

Around this time, he also noticed that some shoes for small children made squeaky sounds while walking. "I asked my father why the shoes made that squeaking sound and he told me that it was because air passes through a small squeaker placed in the sole. I thought if this air can enter, then why dust can not enter the shoe?" he explained. This is how he got the idea of shoes that clean. He refined the idea by adding small bags inside the shoes for depositing dust that is sucked in.

Chris feels this device can also be fitted in cycles. This way, children can help keep their surroundings clean while enjoying a bicycle ride.

Support from Family

His parents are very proud of their son's achievement. His mother says, "We were quite happy that our son's idea got so much recognition and he met Dr Kalam. He was also felicitated in his school for winning this award."

She says that Chris is a thoughtful child who is more inclined to think rather than playing pranks. Both his parents spend time with him doing creative things or reading, apart from routine studies

Although his parents encourage and motivate him, his biggest inspiration is his grandmother who guides him in reading the newspaper and story books. Talking about his dreams, he says, "Earlier, I wanted to go to space. But now, I want to join the Indian army because I feel that they are very brave and I also want to be like them."

Chris also wants to work on developing a robot that can help disabled people walk easily. They're big dreams from a little kid, but going by his past record, there's no reason why they can't come true


To translate his idea into reality, NIF engaged local fabricators to create a proof-of-concept and also filed a patent application (3286/CHE/2010) in his name. NIF also explored the possibility of developing a prototype with Sristi School of Design. However, after initial discussions, it was felt the vacuum created by the pressure of the foot is insufficient for suction of dust. Instead, it would be more viable to replicate the same idea in a bigger object with a greater capacity to create pressure, such as a toy car.

Patent:- 3286/CHE/2010