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 ")

Lightpaper Way Thinner Than OLED
'You have this on Siwenna?'- Isaac Asimov, 1952.

DARPA Wants Airborne Launch Facility For Drones
This was tried with recon craft in WWII.

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.

 

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

Linux Robot Masters Automatic Charging
'Then it appeared to make up its mind, and trundled over to a wall socket...'

PR2 Robot Dominates In Laundry Room
Where are the robots who will pick up discarded clothes?

Do You Want A Tablet Computer? Or, Fad Over?
'He would plug his foolscap-sized Newspad into the ship's information circuit'

First Person Video Flying Parrot Bebop Drone Video
'Over a radius of several miles Sonya's raytron apparatus could direct its flight...'

XPrize's Diamandis Implants RFID Tag In Hand
'People in Manhattan have replaced their Freedom Card with a radio-frequency chip about the size of a vitamin pill.'

Lightpaper Way Thinner Than OLED
'You have this on Siwenna?'

Foodini 3D Printer
''...Food slot gave him flat reddish-brown bricks.'

Parrot Bebop Drone Pairs With Your Smartphone
'Over a radius of several miles Sonya's raytron apparatus could direct its flight [using] an image of all that the lens eye saw.'

SCRIBE Enables Distributed Genomically Encoded Memory
Genomic DNA for analog, rewritable, and flexible memory.

Artisanal 3D Printing By Martha Stewart
'Nanofax AG offers a technology that digitally reproduces objects, physically, at a distance.'

Knightscope Robot Security Guards Ready
'A robot guard appeared, streaking toward them across the field.'

Bullet-Proof Kevlar Woven Electronics
'Check the watch imprinted on his sleeve...'

USAF 'BATMAN' Wrist Display
'The tiny screen in the bracelet's center...'

CoBots - Collaborative Robots Ask Humans For Help
'Whenever a robot finds something it can't identify... You give it a good look.'

Shape-Shifting Carbon Fiber
'Its lines wavered, flowed, and then painfully reformed.'

'Digital Drugs' (Like Herbert's Semuta?) Dismays Saudis
'The effect (described as timeless, sustained ecstasy) is elicited by certain atonal vibrations...'

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.