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Scientists Harvest Nano-Power From Hamsters

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the diminishing-returns dept.

Power 90

Al writes "Researchers at Georgia Tech have come up with the ideal way to test a new peizo-electric device that efficiently harvests power from bio-movement — attaching it to a hamster. The device contains a series of zinc-oxide nanowires mounted on top of a flexible plastic surface. As the plastic bends, the wires generate around a nanowatt of power. The Georgia Tech team, led by Zhong Lin Wang, wanted to show that their device could produce power from irregular movements so they attached it to a tiny hamster jacket. They also tried attaching it to a volunteer's finger. Here's a video of the hamster wearing his piezo-power outfit."

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First human test subject (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26818435)

Richard Gere

Uh oh... (5, Funny)

Jaysyn (203771) | more than 5 years ago | (#26818449)

I hope no one tells Minsc!

Finally (1)

atomicthumbs (824207) | more than 5 years ago | (#26818465)

Someday soon we'll be able to power our computers with armies of hamsters!

Re:Finally (5, Funny)

snowraver1 (1052510) | more than 5 years ago | (#26818609)

First you would need about 15 billion hamsters for a low power notebook. Your desktop/monitor would likely take around 400billion hamsters (.4 terahamsters) or assuming an average mass of 100g, 40 million metric tons of hamsters.

Re:Finally (4, Funny)

mr_mischief (456295) | more than 5 years ago | (#26818697)

It wouldn't take nearly so many if you just burned the hamsters as fuel, but then you'd be better off to just burn the pellets instead of feeding the hamsters.

Re:Finally (1)

Gabrill (556503) | more than 5 years ago | (#26824011)

Yes, but you could _eat_ the hamster meat, and burn the carcass, ending up with a tasty positive!

Re:Finally (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26826343)

Ever skinned 400 billion hamsters ?

Re:Finally (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26819373)

This raises a very important question.

How many terahamsters are in one burning library of congress per second?

And is there a non-SI unit for power yet? If not, I nominate terahamsters.

No Problem... (1)

Kozar_The_Malignant (738483) | more than 5 years ago | (#26820111)

Start with two. You'll have your 15 billion in anywhere from 6 to 12 months. You may experience living space issues and complaints form the neighbors, however.

Re:Finally (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26820201)

As an added bonus you could burn 4 terahampsters worth of droppings to heat your house.

Re:Finally (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26821605)

Remember, hamsters don't feel pain, have no emotions, no needs, no desires, never feel afraid or unhappy, no sirree...
And what's more, you all apparently CHOSE to be born as human beings, rather than as animals. How clever.

The sicko behind this atrocity is just one of hundreds of thousands of the sociopaths who walk among us, pretending to be 'researching' this or that, to 'save babies' or some other such bullshit.

Re:Finally (1)

hesaigo999ca (786966) | more than 5 years ago | (#26826633)

We shall start by using this new system as a way to gauge how much power is
needed for something...4 terahamsters for this, 2 terahamsters for that....I LIKE IT!

Re:Finally (1)

aliquis (678370) | more than 5 years ago | (#26820199)

No-one haven't written "imagine a beowulf cluster of nanopowergeneratingjacketwearing hamsters"?

Re:Finally (1)

jallen02 (124384) | more than 5 years ago | (#26822275)

One of the genuinely GOOD uses of the meme and what??? no mod points. How far has /. fallen? :>

Re:Finally (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26822625)

I see my grammar failed, no-one has written .. + yet, or something, but I had just came home from the gym so I call low blood sugar :D

Great, but.. (2, Insightful)

StikyPad (445176) | more than 5 years ago | (#26818481)

Wouldn't it have been more efficient to attach a generator to the wheel?

Re:Great, but.. (1)

snowraver1 (1052510) | more than 5 years ago | (#26818715)

Perhaps. It's well known that the most efficient way to get power from a hamster is to use them as a fuel source for a conventional boiler/turbine combo.

Re:Great, but.. (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#26818905)

Way to miss the point.

Re:Great, but.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26820501)

oh yeah whats the point? a novel method for generating worthless amounts of power in an extremely expensive and inefficient way. oh right. awesome point!

Perhaps a tiny bowler hat too? (4, Interesting)

niro5 (1081199) | more than 5 years ago | (#26818515)

I am most intrigued by the idea of hamsters wearing jackets.

Re:Perhaps a tiny bowler hat too? (3, Funny)

Cornwallis (1188489) | more than 5 years ago | (#26818897)

I was taught it *takes* almost 1000 hamsters to make a jacket.

Re:Perhaps a tiny bowler hat too? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26820027)

Er... you know this from experience, I assume?

Impressive grinding... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26821975)

> I was taught it *takes* almost 1000 hamsters to make a jacket.

Wow, I didn't know anyone was dedicated enough to WoW to actually grind all the tanned hamster skins for that quest...

Re:Perhaps a tiny bowler hat too? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26820089)

Rule 34?

Surprised (1)

DavidR1991 (1047748) | more than 5 years ago | (#26818565)

I'm surprised it has taken this long for a technology like this to come around. Not the hamster part, but the generation of electricity via small/random body movements. Considering we've had self-winding/kinetic watches for a while, I'm surprised this took so long to materialise.

How many hamsters to power a lightbulb? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26818597)

So you need 100 billion hamsters to power a 100 Watt lightbulb.

Fantastic achievement. NEXT!

But only 28 (2, Interesting)

denzacar (181829) | more than 5 years ago | (#26819573)

To power a red light LED. [wikipedia.org]

And that is the basic single-wire nanogenerator.

1. Scale it up to more nanogenerators so 1 hamster could easily power a red LED laser pointer which would be attached to it's wheel.
2. Attach a larger nanogenerator jacket to a cat. [youtube.com]
3. Generate endless amounts of energy.
4. Profit.

Re:But only 28 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26824203)

wait... LEDs on hamsters today, laser pointers on cats tomorrow and SHARKS WITH FRIKKIN LASER BEAMS ATTACHED TO THEIR HEADS BY FRIDAY!

Re:But only 28 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26825663)

I'm not sure you're correct. The generator makes 1 nW, a LED uses mW. You'll need more hamsters.

Re:How many hamsters to power a lightbulb? (1)

Weedlekin (836313) | more than 5 years ago | (#26826697)

With figures like those, a renewable power system based on this particular hamster technology would lead to a serious shortage of hamsters, so this could well be a good time to invest in both hamster futures, and buy shares in companies that offer serious hamster alternatives for those whose needs will no longer be served by a visit to a pet store.

Here's a link to a company whose shares might be about to skyrocket if this technology is adopted by (for example) the Chinese government. I'm not affiliated with them in any way, but I do have several of their fine products:

http://www.realhamster.com/ [realhamster.com]

I was expecting a hamster wheel... (3, Interesting)

Zakabog (603757) | more than 5 years ago | (#26818617)

I was expecting a hamster wheel being used as a generator and thought "Really? That's something new?"

This technology seems a lot more useful as long as they can get it to scale up nicely. It'd be nice to be able to charge a cell phone from the clothing you wear.

Re:I was expecting a hamster wheel... (1)

Jaysyn (203771) | more than 5 years ago | (#26818737)

Yeah, but what happens when you get caught out in the rain in this stuff?

Re:I was expecting a hamster wheel... (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#26818933)

That's an industrial problem, and solvable.

Re:I was expecting a hamster wheel... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26820701)

yeah that problem is trivial. Also trivial as the fact it would take 300,000 equivalents of this to send data from a cell phone. Trivial simple engineering problems. Epic LuLz. Just scale it up! Screw the 2nd law, LOL EEs never learn it correctly to begin with. Epic LuLz.

Re:I was expecting a hamster wheel... (1)

Garridan (597129) | more than 5 years ago | (#26819007)

Then you harvest some nanopower from the raindrops falling onto your jacket.

Re:I was expecting a hamster wheel... (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 5 years ago | (#26819135)

I was expecting a hamster wheel being used as a generator and thought "Really? That's something new?"

This technology seems a lot more useful as long as they can get it to scale up nicely. It'd be nice to be able to charge a cell phone from the clothing you wear.

Plus, if you're the kind of person who likes to give your hamsters a better home by making those big tube fortresses, then your hamster will be generating power all the time rather than the relatively lesser amount of time they'd be on the hamster wheel.

For humans soon? (1)

darkdaedra (1061330) | more than 5 years ago | (#26818765)

I'm strapping one on for unlimited battery life. Seriously, though, my iPod should never die when I'm on the treadmill burning energy that's just going to waste...

Re:For humans soon? (1)

Hucko (998827) | more than 5 years ago | (#26823535)

So tell me why is that energy going to waste? More specifically, why haven't you *already* connected your treadmill to an inverter system?

Thank God I don't do exercise so I don't have to answer difficult questions like that.

think about (3, Funny)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 5 years ago | (#26818791)

Think about how much energy could be harnessed if they just hooked these things up to slashdotters forearms. It's mindboggling!

Re:think about (1)

denzacar (181829) | more than 5 years ago | (#26819711)

Wristbands with multi-wire nanogenerators.

Slashdot alone could probably power a continent or two.

Obligatory (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#26829793)

Think about how much energy could be harnessed if they just hooked these things up to your mom! Now stop pondering how much time I spend "clicking the mouse".

No....I don't belive it!! It's not possible. (5, Funny)

RetroRichie (259581) | more than 5 years ago | (#26818813)

The hamster generates more bio-electricity than 120-volt battery and over 25,000 BTVs of body heat. Combined with a form of piezo-electricity, the humans have found all the energy they would ever need. There are stores...endless pet stores, were hamsters are no longer born. We are grown. For longest time, I wouldn't belive it...and then I saw the fields with my own eyes. Watch them liquefy the dead, so they could be fed intravenously to the living. And standing there, facing the pure horrifying precision, I came to realize the obviousness of the truth. What is The Matrix? Control. The Matrix is a computer generated dream world, built to keep us under control in order to change a hamster into THIS.

Re:No....I don't belive it!! It's not possible. (1)

zentinal (602572) | more than 5 years ago | (#26818983)

Of course, today, of all days, I do not have mod points. Bravo, RetroRichie. Bravo.

Re:No....I don't belive it!! It's not possible. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26823933)

How many calories of food are required to produce 25000 BTU's of body? 10 million ?
What do they eat?
There must be a more effective way to generate heat.
Burn the food?

That movie never made sense.

Is this (2, Funny)

SnarfQuest (469614) | more than 5 years ago | (#26819107)

Is this part of the "boxed data center" package? I know they are including power genertators, but I didn't think that it would require massive amounts of hamster food.

The future is now! (1)

Garridan (597129) | more than 5 years ago | (#26819111)

This will have a rather fun side-effect: people wearing a piezoelectric jacket, talking on bluetooth cell phones -- talking to themselves, and constantly twitching to produce enough electricity to keep the phone on. Next, we'll hear about new subdermal neck-implanted antennas whose performance is enhanced by moisture. Then, the streets will be full of twitching, drooling businesspeople talking to themselves.

Sweet! (2, Funny)

i_am_socket (970911) | more than 5 years ago | (#26819113)

Business Plan

1) Build electric vehicle
2) Get electricity from Hamsters
3) ...
4) Profit!

Greenest car since the Prius!

This story needs a laser! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26819153)

Sharks are optional.

So much for the Matrix (1)

IgLou (732042) | more than 5 years ago | (#26819953)

The damn machines will be plugging in hamsters into their giant VR world and just kill us off. Oh man, I thought I'd be made redundant by a robot before a hamster!

matrix (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26820241)

I saw The Matrix and I know where this technology leads.

I'm paranoid because I'm paranoid (1)

SinGunner (911891) | more than 5 years ago | (#26820281)

This is just the test run for the full scale model that they'll fit inside a straight-jacket that they'll put me in because I'm paranoid that they will do precisely that!

The outcome of my paranoia is its cause!

wouldn't blood battery be more efficient? (1)

Fry-kun (619632) | more than 5 years ago | (#26820393)

If you put the two contacts of a voltmeter on your tongue, you'll see a small voltage - because you'd have created a battery with the leads and your saliva. Why not just use the hamster's internal fluids to create a battery?

Re:wouldn't blood battery be more efficient? (1)

Peeteriz (821290) | more than 5 years ago | (#26851421)

Seeing a small voltage != being able to extract that voltage for any significant power.

Power = voltage * current. Most of such biobatteries have very, very insignificant current ratio.

Could have worked on this (1)

cheechdurden (884086) | more than 5 years ago | (#26820907)

Last year I was offered the choice of working on this project, amongst others, for senior design at Georgia Tech. I chose another bizarre piezoelectric based project instead. I doubt that one will over make it on slashdot. BTW, ZL Wang is the man.

Gerbil Power OMGWTFBBQ (1)

dave_is_god (1371575) | more than 5 years ago | (#26824603)

So this article is extremely exciting because it gives me an opportunity to get an idea out there that I've been trying to promote for years. We should switch from the unit of Horsepower to the unit of Gerbilpower. This makes sense when you think about how unwieldy the horsepower unit is when talking about things other than very large machines like cars and trucks. So instead of saying "My new Honda Civic has 140 Horsepower!" you could be saying "My new Honda Civic has 66 GigaGerbils" Oddly though, no one has really picked up my new unit of measure. But maybe, just maybe this new insight will help to further my brilliant idea.

Watch the video (1)

Shrike82 (1471633) | more than 5 years ago | (#26842393)

27 seconds in the hamster throws someone an evil look; probably the sadistic bastard that put him in a jacket and started filming him.
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