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Hot Pants

  • Posted by Mitchell Flexo on May 24, 2010 in Science/Tech
  • The human body is constantly moving around and creating energy. Wouldn't it be convenient if we could harness that energy to do things like charge our electronic devices? According to scientists at UC Berkeley, we can. Researchers are developing this breakthrough technology that will enable individuals to create their own renewable energy. The scientists are using microscopic fibers known as nanofibers, which can create electricity through simple motions like bending, stretching, and twisting.

    When rolled into bundles of about one million fibers (around the same size as a grain of sand) and set into motion, they can produce enough current to power an iPod. Even better, the fibers are so small and unobtrusive that they could be stitched into a piece of clothing and be undetectable to the human eye. They are made of an organic plastic that is also used in fishing lines and is washing machine safe. The researchers have used the nanofibers to create energy from fingers typing, hamsters running on wheels, and vocal cords vibrating.

    The potential of this technology is unbelievable, as it taps into a limitless source for supply: our own movement. Everyone from an secretary to a soldier to a jogger could benefit from it. The only factor limiting in the growth of the nanofibers use will be price, and it is still unclear where that will fall. If developers can make them affordable enough for everyone, our society could very well become an army of walking energy creators.

    -Mitchell Flexo

    (Via LA Times)

    Image via All About Jazz


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