Thursday, February 7, 2008

Device Generates Power From Walking: 30 Minutes of Cellphone Use From One Minute of Walking

North America (TGW) – U.S. and Canadian researchers have developed a device that effortlessly harvests energy from human movement.

The gadget is a knee brace with special technology, and can power a cellphone for up to 30 minutes from just one minute of walking.

The device generates power from a process known as “generative-breaking”, much like the process used in Toyota Prius hybrids.

"Walking is a lot like stop-and-go driving," explained Dr Max Donelan of Simon Fraser University. "Within each stride muscles are continuously accelerating and decelerating the body.

Using a series of gears, the knee brace assists the hamstring in slowing the body just before the foot hits the ground, whilst simultaneously generating electricity.

Sensors on the device switch the generator off for the remainder of each step, reducing strain on the individual.

The researchers see potential benefit in not only energy production, but in prosthetic limb use.

Via :: BBC