I don't know about you, but I've been feeling downright un-bionic lately. What I need is a good onboard power source that will whir and buzz and make me really feel like I'm worth at least $10 million.
Thankfully a group of US and Canadian scientists have, together, created a "knee dynamo" that taps the power of walking to create enough power to charge mobile phones or iPods or increasingly advanced electrical prosthetics for amputees (and RoboCops). The device, aside from being obnoxiously large and loud, is really quite cool. It actually uses the energy of the leg swinging forward at the beginning of the stride to generate the power.
This energy would otherwise need to be counteracted by the leg muscles to keep the leg from jarring the knee. This way, the dynamo can actually produce more power than the extra energy the wearer spends to use the device. Think of it like regenerative breaking in hybrid cars. Every time you take a step, your thigh has to both speed up and slow down your lower leg. This thing just helps your leg slow itself down, and captures some of that energy. There's an excellent video of the thing in action at BBC news, I suggest you check it out.
I'm saying this right now...if I can't power my own iPod 15 years from now, I give up on this planet...thanks to these guys for getting this technology another step (or half-stride) closer to reality.
Via BBC News
|< Prev||Next >|