[AI] Charge batteries by going for a walk or jog!
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Sat Feb 9 22:43:10 EST 2008
Charge batteries by going for a walk or jog!
Canadian researchers moot knee-mounted charger that can generate up to 13 watts
- Photo: Simon Fraser University
BIONIC POWER: Professor Max Donelan watches a volunteer generate power through the knee-mounted device.
Bangalore: When psychologists exhorted people to "harness the power within you," they never meant it quite so literally.
The latest edition of the U.S. journal Science carries a paper by researchers at Canada's Simon Fraser University, which moots a knee-mounted system that
can generate electric power from the natural motion of walking.
Like a knee brace
Called the Biochemical Energy Harvester, the device looks like an orthopaedic knee brace. It 'harvests' energy as the walker's muscles work to slow the
movement of the leg forward.
Developed at the Locomotion Lab of Simon Fraser University by a team led by Max Donelan, the 'bionic battery' device, if worn on both legs, is said to be
able to generate 5 watts of energy quite easily - 13 watts if the wearer jogs.
A minute counts
A minute's walking can generate enough energy to run a mobile phone for 30 minutes, say the researchers. Professor Donelan says the device would be useful
to anyone who runs out of power for the multiple devices one carries these days.
The team hopes to have working prototypes made within 18 months by a spin-off company they have started called Bionic Power Inc.
The principle is similar to the dynamo sets that used to be popular with cyclists - where a small wheel was set spinning by the moving cycle rim to generate
enough power to light the head lamp.
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