Nicaraguan Origin Teen Invents Phone-Charging Sneaker


Lino Edgar Marrero (c) with his invention.  Photo: Lupe Zapata, Spectrum News 

The student in his first year of high school is of Nicaraguan descent, on his mother’s side.  His father is Cuban-American

By 100% Noticias

HAVANA TIMES – Fifteen-year-old Lino Edgar Marrero from Frisco, Texas, and of Nicaraguan descent was nominated and is competing to become Child of the Year 2021, after he invented a rechargeable battery that fits in the heel of a tennis shoe, collecting energy generated from walking.

The teenager’s invention came to him during a break at football practice, when Lino discovered that his smartphone had run out of charge. At that moment, he remembered a class at school about kinetic energy, the ,energy produced by a moving object, which made Lino think: “What would happen if I could transfer the energy I waste on the field and use it to charge my phone?”

This idea led Lino to invent the Kinetic Kickz 2.0, which consists of a rechargeable battery that fits in the heel of a shoe. To summarize, it collects energy generated from walking which can then be used to charge portable devices.

“In a family where we’re one for all and all for one, the fact that Lino Edgar has been chosen by Time Magazine and Nickolodeon as one of the five finalists left us in shock first, and then we all hugged each other. Just being considered was a great honor, and then reaching the Top 20 was incredible. Now, we have no words to describe the honor, happiness, and gratefulness we have seeing Lino in the Top 5 surrounded by other gifted children. We feel that Lino reaching the Top 5 wasn’t only down to his great work, but is also a blessing from God,” Sharon Solano, Lino’s Nicaraguan mother, told 100% Noticias.

The teenager told Spectrum News 1, in Texas, that technology can be a lot more efficient and less expensive than other renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar energy.

“The Kinetic Kickz 2.0 makes the most of human kinetic energy as an alternative source of new and clean energy,”  he pointed out.

Lino says that the device could change the everyday lives of the many people who have no access to electricity. “Being able to power a small bulb on a ceiling would make a great difference,” he said.

The young boy received recognition with an Inventor Communication Award and an Industry Innovation Award at the Invention Convention US Nationals 2019, where he won first prize in the 6th-8th grade category at the Invention Convention Globals, which was held virtually in 2021.


The first opportunity Lino had to invent something came in 4th grade, when he created the String Ring, which is an adjustable band that protects your fingers when they move across the chords of an instrument.

At that time, Marrero was learning to play the cello and was having problems. “Many people stop playing chord instruments because of blisters and calluses that make playing painful,” he says.

He won first prize at a state competition. Lino is now developing a String Ring for guitarists.


Lino says that children are better inventors than adults, so he invites children of all ages to become inventors and help to change the world.

“For me, it’s been about helping other people really,” Lino says about the invention.

He adds that “Children are better inventors than adults, because they can be more creative sometimes. I just want to help inspire more people to become inventors and help to change the world.”

Lino’s dream is for the world to use Kinetic Kickz or his technology to create clean energy and limit the effects of climate change in the future.

“We can’t always depend on the wind blowing or the sun shining,” he defends.

Lino and his proud family.

Of Nicaraguan descent

The student in his first year of high school is of Nicaraguan descent, as his mother Sharon Solano Castillo is the daughter of former legislator and ex-president of the non-traditional products organization APEN, Azucena Castillo, who told 100% Noticias that she is very proud of her grandson’s achievements.

“He makes us all very proud. His US education has been a great help, I hope he makes the most of it, for him to be a blessing to his community. He loves to fix problems. He is a helpful and loving child,” Castillo told 100% Noticias.

Lino’s mother hopes that her three children “can be useful citizens to humanity” and both she and her husband will be supporting them.

“The most important thing we tell them is to be humble and empathetic with their classmates and friends.  Some of this has helped Lino to prove that yes, you can! He is a Child inventor that not only wants to make the world a better place, but he also wants to inspire other children to join him and to do the same thing to guarantee a bright future for everyone,” she added.

The grandmother shared that Lino was on one of the US’ most famous and popular programs, “Good Morning America”. “They invited the entire family and took care of everything. He has a brother and little sister, who each have their talents.” Lino’s father is Cuban-American. Lino is the eldest of the three siblings, he is followed by Lucas Michael (12) and Victoria (9).

The young boy has traveled to Nicaragua on many occasions, and has even enjoyed the beautiful sights from Mombacho volcano. The family regularly goes to Nicaragua on vacation. The last time they went in 2017, they went to Mombacho, doing Canopy and enjoying hiking along its trails.

Read more from Nicaragua here on Havana Times.