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Breast Motion Power Harvesting iPod-Charging Bra

Is it possible for a bra to harvest the energy of breast motion? Slate writer Adrienne So was determined to find out, and she asked a number of researchers that Technovelgy readers already know about.

She describes her epiphany this way:

Then one day recently I had an idea. As I rode public transportation to the office, my messenger bag slung uncomfortably across my chest, I thought, "Why not put the girls to work?" Human-powered devices are showing up everywhere.. The time seemed perfect—perhaps even overdue!—for a bra that could harness the untapped power of breast motion.

The physical parameters of the problem are suggestive of the potential of breast energy; breasts move along three different axes: side to side, front to back and up and down. Bigger breasts have greater potential to generate power.

But how to parasitize this neglected energy source? So asked Professor Zhong Lin Wang about the possibilities of his research on zinc oxide nanowire textile fibers (read more at Piezoelectric Zinc Oxide Nanowire Fashions For Spring); is a nano-under-wire bra possible? "Bras would be ideal," he said. "There is a lot of friction and movement in that general area. And the fabric would be thick."

She also asked Lawrence Rome of the University of Pennsylvania about the possibility of applying the principles of his Backpack Generator [which] Harnesses Power Of Walking. Rome conceded that with the right body type, a linear generator just might work, though he warned it "probably wouldn't be very comfortable."

Smaller breasted women might want to go with the solar-powered bra created by Triumph International of Japan.

As far as I know, Frank Herbert never thought about breast motion as a way to power the stillsuits from his epic masterpiece Dune, saying simply that "Motions of the body, especially breathing, and some osmotic action provide the pumping force..."

Via Victoria's Circuit: Harnessing the untapped power of breast motion.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 6/25/2008)

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