Harvesting Power From Flying Insects

The first successful mechanical energy scavenging from flying insects uses piezoelectric devices in little 'back-packs'.


(Power output from energy harvesting [pdf])

The device was created and described by scientists from the University of Michigan and Western Michigan University.

This paper reports the first effort to generate power from a live insect (Cotinis nitida - Green June Beetle) during its tethered flight, by utilizing piezoelectric devices in the d31 bending mode to convert mechanical vibrations of a beetle into electrical output. We measured available deflection, force and power output from oscillatory movements at different locations on a beetle with an unmounted piezoelectric beam and showed that up to ~115 micro Watts power generation is possible. Two initial generator prototypes were fabricated, mounted on a beetle, and harvested 11.5 micro Watts and 7.5 micro Watts in device volumes of 11.0 mm3 and 5.6 mm3 respectively, from 85 Hz-100 Hz wing strokes.


(Final prototype design for insect energy harvesting [pdf])

This work has real applications in the world of HI-MEMS (Hybrid Insect Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems), which create cyborg beetles that can be remote-controlled. DARPA plans to use these insect/device hybrids as remote surveillance and sensing MAVs. The sensors and transponders need power, and harvesting power from the insect's flight is an ideal way to obtain energy, rather than using batteries.

DARPA HI-MEMS program director Amit Lal credits science fiction writer Thomas Easton with the idea for the HI-MEMS cyborg insect program, which recently reported success in embedding control devices in the pupal stage. Lal read Easton's 1990 novel Sparrowhawk, in which animals enlarged by genetic engineering were outfitted with implanted control systems.

Dr. Easton, a professor of science at Thomas College, sees a number of applications for HI-MEMS insects.

Moths are extraordinarily sensitive to sex attractants, so instead of giving bank robbers money treated with dye, they could use sex attractants instead. Then, a moth-based HI-MEMS could find the robber by following the scent."

"[Also,] with genetic engineering DARPA could replace the sex attractant receptor on the moth antennae with receptors for other things, like explosives, drugs or toxins," said Easton.

Via Mechanical energy scavenging from flying insects (pdf).

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 9/7/2011)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )

Related News Stories - (" Engineering ")

Physicists Build Repulsor / Tractor Beam
'Brandon swung mighty tractor beams upon the severed halves of the Jovian vessel...'- EE 'Doc' Smith, 1931.

New Video Of Arducorder Mini Open Source Science Tricorder
Perfect for exploring our planet.

Low Cost Spray-On Solar Cells
'It turns sunlight into electricity... you spray it on.'- Larry Niven, 1995.

Wristify, Your Personal Cooling and Heating Device
'By law [a mandatory cooling unit] had to be strapped to every commuter's back...'- Philip K. Dick

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

Physicists Build Repulsor / Tractor Beam
'Brandon swung mighty tractor beams upon the severed halves of the Jovian vessel...'

High Fidelity Produces More Expressive Avatars!
'They are the audiovisual bodies that people use to communicate with each other...'

Will You Upload Your Mind Anytime Soon?
And if so, how long will the copy last?

Students! NASA Wants To 3D Print Your Tool Design In Space!
'Mass-produced only in the orbiting factories...'

Amazing ARES Augmented Reality Sandbox
'First he showed him where the input and output of his brand-new kingdom were, and how to program wars...'

'3D Light Sculpture' Projected Directly Onto Retina
'...projects directly on the retina of the eye…'

3D Printer Vending Machine Dispenses Dreams
'Nanofax AG offers a technology that digitally reproduces objects, physically, at a distance.'

Why Not Nurse Grandma With A Robot?
'She's made of a combination of springs, levers, acoustic instruments...'

Flock Of Minisats Will Image The Earth
'We... dropped roughly a thousand eyes on Beta Hydri IV.'

Should Robots Have Civil Rights?
'I've seen things... you people wouldn't believe...'

Robert Heinlein, Your Self-Driving Car Is Almost Ready!
'Mary Risling settled back for a little nap...'

The Manned Maneuvering Unit Story
'Little spurts of red-orange flame from the reaction pistol marked his companion's trail...'

Scheherazade, An Open Story Generator
'How can you compete with an IBM heavy-duty logomatic analogue?'

Sample The In Vitro Meat Cookbook
'I grabbed two Syntho-Steaks out of the freezer...'

'Diamond Nanothreads' Now, Someday Space Elevators?
'It is a continuous pseudo-one dimensional diamond crystal'

Erased Memories In A Flash Of Light
'Someone, probably at a government military-sciences lab, erased his conscious memories...'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.