10 Exotic Human-Energy Harvesting Devices And Technologies

In his remarkable 1965 novel Dune, Frank Herbert creates the idea of a stillsuit, which harvests the mechanical energy of the ordinary movements of the body to conserve (and recycle) the water used by the body. This technique is sometimes called "passive energy harvesting", to distinguish it from activities like walking in a circle and pushing a turnstile to power a water wheel. Herbert's novel introduced this idea to many readers, although the general idea has been around since at least the late eighteenth century, when self-winding watches powered like a pedometer from walking were created.

Here are ten different passive energy harvesting devices and technologies, in differing stages of prototyping and application; click through to learn more about each one.

Backpack Generator Harnesses Power Of Walking

A backpack generator designed by Lawrence Rome and colleagues at the University of Pennsylvania is able to convert the vigorous strides of hikers into more than 7 watts of usable power.


(Backpack Generator worn by Lawrence Rome)

Nanogenerator Harvests Mechanical Energy

A nanogenerator produces a continuous flow of electricity by harvesting mechanical energy from a variety of sources, including ultrasonic waves, mechanical movement or even blood flow.


(Prototype DC nanogenerator closeup)

Vibration Energy Scavenging By Tiny Generator

A masterpiece of Vibration Energy Scavenging, this tiny (less than one cubic centimeter) device would have a variety of uses.


(Tiny generator with vibration energy scavenging)

Flexible Integrated Energy Device (FIED) - Wearable Rechargers

"It will look like an ordinary garment but have extraordinary capabilities. As the person wearing the garment moves, the vibrations they create can be harvested and channeled into recharging the battery or powering plug-in electronic device or devices."


(Flexible Integrated Energy Device (FIED))

Breath Powered USB Charger (And Stillsuit)

The device scavenges power from your breathing and lets you keep the power as electricity for USB devices.


(Breath powered USB recharger)

Biomechanical Energy Harvester Is The Bee's Knees

A Biomechanical energy harvesting device consisting of an aluminum chassis and a generator disguised as a knee brace provide enough power to run your iPhone.


(Biomechanical energy harvester device)

Piezoelectric Zinc Oxide Nanowire Fashions For Spring

The resulting current flow from many fiber pairs woven into a shirt or jacket could allow the wearer's body movement to power a range of portable electronic devices.


(Piezoelectric zinc oxide nanowires)

NTT Energy-Generating Shoes Are Squishy

NTT is developing electricity-generating shoes that generate power from walking. These green shoes generate 1.2 watts of electricity.


(NTT electricity generating shoes)

Implantable Energy-Harvesting Rubber Sheets

Energy-harvesting rubber sheets that are implanted in the body may power pacemakers and even mobile phones.


(Energy-harvesting rubber sheet)

Nanogenerator Intros New Energy Unit - The Pinch

The latest improvements have resulted in a nanogenerator powerful enough to drive commercial liquid-crystal displays, light-emitting diodes and laser diodes.


(Nanogenerator)

Energy-Harvesting Shoes With Reverse Electrowetting

Power your phone or iPad with the power of walking! Engineering researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have described a new energy-harvesting technology that could be embedded in your shoes.


(Schematics of three major droplet actuation mechanisms)

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 10/9/2011)

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 ")

3D Printed Artificial Muscles Are Stronger Than Yours
Bots don't need to work out.

Crazyflie Drone Swarm Technology
'...Programmed to hang in space in a hexagonal grid pattern.' - Neal Stephenson, 1995.

L16 Revolutionary Optics Spells End For Ordinary DSLRs?
Time for Esper Photo Analysis, Blade Runner fans.

MIT Tunes Ions For Frictionless Surface - Superlubricity!
'My telelubricator here neutralizes the interatomic bonds the surface of any solid...' - L. Sprague de Camp, 1940.

 

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

3D Printed Artificial Muscles Are Stronger Than Yours
Bots don't need to work out.

Fog Computing (AKA Edge Computing) Ad Hoc Networks
'The tiny devices chirped their impulse codes at one another...'

Dubai Scorpion Police Hoverbike Ready To Pull Young Kirk Over
'Is there a problem, officer?'

HEXA Robotic Help For Plants
Then some unknown race had chanced upon the dreamers and decided to "help them out."

Korean Tesla Model S Video 'Excelsior' Is Indeed Our Motto
'Improving man by bringing him close to Nature, while they combine the sensations of coasting with the interest of seeing the country well...'

DIY Robot Shoots You In The Face
'...there were automatic guns that fired ligamine darts.'

A Bayesian Approach to Safe Imitation Learning For AIs and Robots
Um, how about that pension for the humans who serve as the models for robot behavior?

Qoobo Headless Robotic Therapy Cat Was Anne McCaffrey's Idea
'...used as surrogates in intense dependency cases.'

Autonomous Cars Talk To Each Other At MCity
'My cars talk to one another.'

PUFFER Robots - From Philip K DIck's Second Variety?
'Across the ground something small and metallic came, flashing in the dull sunlight of midday.'

Russian Space Garden
'We saw the gardens, flooded with artificial sunlight...'

Targeted Neuroplasticity Training For 'Downloading Skills'
'I know kung-fu.'

U of M's MCity To Feature Asimov's Automatobuses
Should you turn autonomous buses off?

Crazyflie Drone Swarm Technology
'...Programmed to hang in space in a hexagonal grid pattern.'

Our GodBot, Who Art In Cyberspace
Vaal hungers! We must serve him.

easyJet Short-Haul Electric Jets
Have a little faith, will you? They're working on it.

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.