Friday, February 08, 2008

The Six Million Watt Man (1.2 million miles of travel not included)

A research team unveils a device that convert leg energy into electrical energy. In principle its exactly how hybrid cars can use the deceleration of a car by braking as a harvest point for gathering up some extra electrical juice.

As the team reports tomorrow in Science, the braces produced 5 watts of power--enough to run 10 cell phones.

Now we're talking. I'd love to have a little bioelectric zappage on hand for my cell phone and even an LED flashlight. I suppose if I ever had a laptop it would be good motivation to get enough power to turn it on.

The prototype appears lightweight (1.6kgs). I wonder if a more industrious individual could strap on a battery and bank some of those watts, eh? It'd be pretty neat to be able to not have to plug my cell phone in every night and just have it charge as I tool about the lab. Of course, the more noble applications such as insulin pumps and prosthetic limbs, but man, I'd love to drop another chore off my daily decompression routine when I get home from work.

I guess they're still working on getting that USB port for the brain.

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