Thursday, September 08, 2005

Power walking, really ....

Where to get power for all those portable electronic devices? Let me take a walk, and think about it. nature.com summarizes a report from Science that biologist Lawrence Rome of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, a specialist in animal locomotion, and his co-workers had the bright idea of harnessing power from the vertical motion of a walker's hips. "One could then generate electricity while carrying a load more economically and with greater comfort than with a conventional backpack," says mechanical engineer Arthur Kuo of the University of Michigan. From the abstract, "This electricity generation can help give field scientists, explorers, and disaster-relief workers freedom from the heavy weight of replacement batteries and thereby extend their ability to operate in remote areas." According to The Mercury News, a spinoff called Lightning Packs LLC will develop this technology for commercialization.

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