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 ")

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

Solar Roadways Could Power USA - Times 3
This would be great if it works - the roads might be better maintained as well.

Spaser-Based Circuits Could Be Printed On Clothing
'Alex rolled his wrist over to check the watch imprinted on his sleeve.'- Niven and Barnes, 1981.

 

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

'Hello, Computer!' Intel's Core M Catches Up To Scotty
'Well, isn't that quaint!'

Visual Speech Recognition - When Will HAL Read Lips For Real?
Automating lip reading.

MIT's Robotic Cheetah Runs Free - And Frolics In The Grass
'THEY sent A SLAMHOUND on Turner's trail...'

Flying Robot Has An Arm
Drones with arms.

Strati 3D Printed Car
'You rode in it - you know how good it is.'

Tracking Spinning Space Junk
'Loose nuts and bolts... had been accumulating in Earth orbit'

Baidu Kuaisou Dune Poison Snooper Chopsticks
'Unobtrusive inspections with... snoopers... Will it be chaumas - poison in the food?'

Crystalized Light Created At Princeton
'It will be matter, matter made of light...'

The Amazing Gravity-Assisted Journey Of Rosetta
'...We used the [moon's] attraction to give us additional starting speed'

AirDog Auto-Follow Drone Captures Your Awesomeness
'Tight mid-shot and pull out on but behind me...'

Dell's Venue 8 7000 Tablet With RealSense Depth-Mapping
Focus on any part of a picture later.

Google's Cartographer Backpack For Indoor Mapping
'He reached to unsnap the cartograph from his belt.'

T-Mobile Sues Huawei Over Button Pushing Robot Idea From The 1930's
'Not the slightest change in their working betrayed the fact that they were now being directed by a machine instead of human beings.'

Hayabusa-2 Asteroid Cannon Strategy From 1950's SF Novel
'Fire streaked in a thin line from the muzzle of a cannon-like tube...'

Dyson 360 Eye Robot Vacuum Cleaner
'It vacuum-cleaned... or polished, consulting tapes in its idiot memory to decide which.'

First 3D Printer In Space?
'It can be mass-produced only in the orbiting factories...'

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.