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DARPA To Turn Humans Into Batteries

samzenpus posted about 4 years ago | from the electric-personality dept.

Power 183

DARPA is working on a project that will convert energy from the human body to power a variety of military gadgets. From the article: "Obviously, our bodies generate heat — thermal energy. They also produce vibrations when we move — kinetic energy. Both forms of energy can be converted into electricity. Anantha Chandrakasan, an MIT electrical engineering professor, who is working on the problem with a former student named Yogesh Ramadass, says the challenge is to harvest adequate amounts of power from the body and then efficiently direct it to the device that needs it." If I remember the movie correctly, this didn't turn out so well for the humans.

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183 comments

Matrix Jokes ... (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32925766)

Appear after this comment

Re:Matrix Jokes ... (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32925806)

Shut the fuck up Neo..

Re:Matrix Jokes ... (2, Funny)

dintech (998802) | about 4 years ago | (#32925812)

1984 wasn't supposed to be a guide book. Oh wait, I mean The Matrix...

Re:Matrix Jokes ... (4, Funny)

Rijnzael (1294596) | about 4 years ago | (#32925816)

Now what's really going to get you later on is, would people have made Matrix jokes if you hadn't said anything?

Re:Matrix Jokes ... (4, Funny)

capnchicken (664317) | about 4 years ago | (#32925862)

Yes. Yes they would. It doesn't take an Oracle to predict slashdot, hell you can predict it with DB2! Zing!

Re:Matrix Jokes ... (1)

drc003 (738548) | about 4 years ago | (#32926388)

I believe the correct term is Bazingga!

Pre-Matrix joke... (3, Funny)

PatHMV (701344) | about 4 years ago | (#32926474)

Dura-cell is PEOPLE! (said in best Charlton Heston voice)

Re:Matrix Jokes ... (1)

SiaFhir (686401) | about 4 years ago | (#32925882)

My manager brought in cookies. I feel right as rain now.

Re:Matrix Jokes ... (-1, Offtopic)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 4 years ago | (#32926026)

What really gets me is that those 2nd two matrix movies that were so terrible if the 1st really good matrix movie hadn't been made. Is the first one good enough that it makes up for the existence of the other 2?

Re:Matrix Jokes ... (4, Funny)

emocomputerjock (1099941) | about 4 years ago | (#32926144)

What other two Matrix movies?

Re:Matrix Jokes ... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32926324)

It's a shame they never made any sequels... (hiding the bloody axe)

Re:Matrix Jokes ... (0, Troll)

tibman (623933) | about 4 years ago | (#32926218)

I thought 2 was ok.. but that part when they escape the trashed ship and he can somehow still "feel" the machines and somehow disables them. I was thinking.. WTF? how can he do that unless he is A) Still in the matrix. B) Wifi type deal in his head. I thought 3 would go into that but no.. pretty sure that was never addressed. Reminds me of Lost.

The part with the Architect reminds me of the Hyperion book series.. where the TechnoCore AIs were trying to build an Ultimate Intelligence that had every variable accounted for and could literally see the future through the sum of current events. An AI God. How could you fight something that knows every thought you are capable of making.. could predict outcomes based upon synapse firing in your brain. Could touch your life in extremely subtle ways to create outcomes decades down the road. Of course in the books, the AIs were parasites of Humanity.. this DARPA project is a crude step in that direction, hah.

Re:Matrix Jokes ... (3, Funny)

happy_place (632005) | about 4 years ago | (#32925856)

Here's a joke from the Matrix's central core...

Q. How many humans does it take to change a lightbulb?

A. Humans don't change lightbulbs, they power lightbulbs.

Re:Matrix Jokes ... (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | about 4 years ago | (#32925986)

Here's another joke about the Matrix core...

Q: If humans are the batteries to supply energy to the machines, where do the humans get their energy to stay alive?
A: Um..... er..... uh..... (runs away)

Yeah. The Matrix is pure Fantasy fiction not science fiction. No way could that world exist in our reality. Maybe the Matrix machines feed the humans with Unobtainium (aka magic).

Re:Matrix Jokes ... (1)

shaitand (626655) | about 4 years ago | (#32926090)

The humans get their energy from the nutrient filled goo. DUH. Where do they get the nutrients for the goo you ask? From the dead humans! DUH.

Obviously it's a depleting system with fewer and fewer humans to be gotten each time around. But one can also assume that when the sky was blacked out there was vegetation and vegetable and animal organics. The machines could have found a way to convert that into sugars (along with the other dead humans of course) and nutrients to feed the humans.

There is quite a bit of organic energy already here.

Re:Matrix Jokes ... (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | about 4 years ago | (#32926656)

>>>Obviously it's a depleting system with fewer and fewer humans to be gotten each time around.

That's an understatement. It takes about 300 pounds of meat, per year, to keep a person alive. Or two corpses. The human population would quickly decrease, as you'd kill 2 for every 1 left alive.

6 billion - kill 2/3rds of them
== 2 billion - kill 2/3rds of them
== 0.66 billion - kill 2/rds of them
== 200 million - kill 2/rds of them
== 74 million

And so on.

Re:Matrix Jokes ... (0, Offtopic)

Shakrai (717556) | about 4 years ago | (#32926718)

My Free TV streams 19 Mbps == 6000 GB/month per channel. No cellphone can do that. WHY kill off this excellent service??

+1

Re:Matrix Jokes ... (1)

BobMcD (601576) | about 4 years ago | (#32926092)

I thought it was pretty clear there was a tube running down Neo's throat. Wouldn't they just pump nutrients in that way? Or hell, since he had never been born they could be doing something similar to the umbilical cord.

At any rate, it isn't at all vague. The humans get energy from 'eating', which means the machines are getting their electricity in the same way we're getting beef.

You could make an argument that it isn't efficient enough, or something, but that would be forgetting both that this is future-tech and that this is a movie. What you seem to have done is attempted to claim that they ignored the fact altogether, where they clearly illustrated it - at least up to Hollywood standards.

Re:Matrix Jokes ... (2, Funny)

Thinboy00 (1190815) | about 4 years ago | (#32926502)

That's it, time to call the Mythbusters!

Re:Matrix Jokes ... (2, Interesting)

ThePlague (30616) | about 4 years ago | (#32926514)

Can you get power from humans? Sure, but why would you specifically breed them for that purpose? I mean, really, nuclear would be a great deal easier, and provide much more power. So would burning coal. In either case, you don't need to set up an elaborate virtual reality to keep the fuel cells in line. Hell, even if you accept that bio-generated heat is an ideal power source, why not use cows? The VR would be a great deal simpler. Finally, even if for some bizarre reason humans are the only option, why even bother with a VR at all: just lobotomize them or induce a coma.

That's one of the main reasons I was so disappointed in the sequels: they got way too mystical. What would have been better would be if it had been found out that the primary reason the matrix was made was not for power generation, rather computational power. A portion of each inhabitant of the matrix brain was used as hardware for the AI. In order to keep the brain functioning correctly, the VR had to be generated. It would also explain "The One"'s ability to hack the matrix: he could access the part of his brain that was being used to generate the matrix, giving him access to the fundamental underpinnings. In essence, a backdoor exploit. I personally think it would have been more satisfying and dramatic if the original teaser line "what is the matrix?" had been answered in the sequels as "we are the matrix".

Re:Matrix Jokes ... (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | about 4 years ago | (#32926732)

>>>Wouldn't they just pump nutrients in that way

I really wish people would THINK before they post. No sun == no plants == no nutrients to consume.

Remember what happened to the dinosaurs when their sun was blotted out? That's what would happen to humans. Even if the machines fed 2 dead corpses per year to keep alive 1 human alive, the race would be almost extinct within a decade.

A 6 billion population would have decreased to less than a million in ten years.

Re:Matrix Jokes ... (0, Offtopic)

Shakrai (717556) | about 4 years ago | (#32926536)

Yeah. The Matrix is pure Fantasy fiction not science fiction. No way could that world exist in our reality

They lost me in the The Animatrix when the Humans decided to "win" the war by blacking out the sun. Apparently the humans of the future don't need to eat.....

For that matter, why didn't the machines just build a bunch of nuclear reactors?

Re:Matrix Jokes ... (1)

camperdave (969942) | about 4 years ago | (#32926576)

I always thought that was weird myself. I came to the conclusion that it was a Hollywood dumbing down of whatever concept the book might have used. (The Matrix is based off of a short story or book, right?) My assumption is that in the real story, the Matrix was actually using human brains and imagination as computing power, not electrical power.

Re:Matrix Jokes ... (1)

mysidia (191772) | about 4 years ago | (#32926510)

It's easy when you realize the truth. That there is no comment....

dang clippy [youtube.com]

Simple (2, Informative)

0racle (667029) | about 4 years ago | (#32925768)

the challenge is to harvest adequate amounts of power from the body and then efficiently direct it to the device that needs it

You combine it with a form of fusionm duh.

Re:Simple (1)

Kepesk (1093871) | about 4 years ago | (#32926262)

Actually, this is great. I generate tons of sweat when I go biking; can I use that to power one of those water-powered digital clocks?

No AI yet. (1)

Silviiro (1386523) | about 4 years ago | (#32925774)

So who is going to take over if we don't have AI yet?

Re:No AI yet. (1)

CDigglesworth (1814266) | about 4 years ago | (#32925956)

Al Gore

Re:No AI yet. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32926034)

Al Gore or AI Gore?

Dammit, I need serifs!!! At least we don't have to worry about A1 Gore.

Re:No AI yet. (1)

Vantharion (1849900) | about 4 years ago | (#32926072)

Google is skynet.
I have had a T-shirt that has that phrase on it for three years now.

THERE IS NO SPOON! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32925776)

Tasty wheat, etc.

No (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32925778)

DARPA turned us into generators.

Re:No (1)

JustinRLynn (831164) | about 4 years ago | (#32926008)

DARPA turned us into generators.

Technically correct is the best kind of correct.

And it has been done before, starting 240 years ago [wikipedia.org] .

Re:No (1)

badran (973386) | about 4 years ago | (#32926096)

It has been done way way before that....

Think slaves, row-boats...

We are alive, hence we are able to store energy that can be used later....

The truth is... (1)

mikerubin (449692) | about 4 years ago | (#32925780)

There is no spoon

Re:The truth is... (1)

FeepingCreature (1132265) | about 4 years ago | (#32926458)

Heh.
You liar.

The obligatory comment on The Matrix (1)

theguyfromsaturn (802938) | about 4 years ago | (#32925784)

Are we going to build it... or already part of it? Which pill to take?

Re:The obligatory comment on The Matrix (1)

JWSmythe (446288) | about 4 years ago | (#32926030)

    Take all of them. Some will give you wild hallucinations about an impossible future and extreme paranoia. Some will make you passive and very compliant to the reality you are in. What could possibly go wrong with that combination?

    [/me takes a fist full from the pill jar]

Take the red pill. ;) (1)

leuk_he (194174) | about 4 years ago | (#32925798)

If you take the blue pill you will stay in the matrix so it can use your electricity.

But be warned "leaving the Matrix can be traumatic"

Half Life vs Matrix vs Skynet (1)

badran (973386) | about 4 years ago | (#32925828)

So how will our future look like....

or will it just be 1984ish..... or maybe we will part of the brave new world...

At least for now Idiocracy is winning... Even on /.

Re:Half Life vs Matrix vs Skynet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32925864)

Keep it down, Coppertop.

Re:Half Life vs Matrix vs Skynet (1)

maxume (22995) | about 4 years ago | (#32926182)

Meh, much of 1984 is based on the false premise that language can be (successfully) prescribed, and Brave New World is at least as much biting social commentary about government eugenics programs that actually existed at that time as it is a warning for the future.

Re:Half Life vs Matrix vs Skynet (1)

thijsh (910751) | about 4 years ago | (#32926276)

Yeah the Idiocracy part might be true, because as we know every smart Slashdotter never has sex, and never reproduces... But every dumb Slashtroll also never has sex, and never reproduces...
errrr... Wait a minute, from an evolutionary perspective Slashdot should not exist, like the eyeball!!! Am I going blind now or am I blind already and delusional to think I could read Slashdot?

Re:Half Life vs Matrix vs Skynet (1)

Thinboy00 (1190815) | about 4 years ago | (#32926524)

We're not going to have Brave New World as long as the war on drugs lives.

Such a wonder! (1)

jeffmeden (135043) | about 4 years ago | (#32925834)

That Seiko watch I had about 10 years ago must have been from the future since it was able to power itself from a human battery. So far, no sign of them taking over the world either.

Re:Such a wonder! (1)

flyingfsck (986395) | about 4 years ago | (#32926424)

Those watches have been around since the disco days, for about 40 years or so.

Human Hamster Wheel? (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | about 4 years ago | (#32925840)

Question (5, Insightful)

xednieht (1117791) | about 4 years ago | (#32925846)

Why is mankind so obsessed with harvesting energy from the rarest sources in the universe? Why not start with the most abundant sources?

Re:Question (5, Funny)

Ukab the Great (87152) | about 4 years ago | (#32925940)

Because doing that would make farting both a socially acceptable behavior and a viable industry.

Re:Question (3, Funny)

thijsh (910751) | about 4 years ago | (#32926048)

Because even without the malaria health-risks mosquito's are way to hard to milk...

Re:Question (3, Funny)

Exitar (809068) | about 4 years ago | (#32926168)

Because harvesting energy from stupidity isn't a trivial task.

Re:Question (1)

fataugie (89032) | about 4 years ago | (#32926516)

But ....there's an endless supply!

Re:Question (1)

Shakrai (717556) | about 4 years ago | (#32926586)

Then how do you explain the United States Congress? ;)

Re:Question (2, Insightful)

meringuoid (568297) | about 4 years ago | (#32926204)

Think wearables. Batteries are heavy and inefficient and need periodic access to a power supply to recharge; that limits how long you can go on using your various toys, especially if you're way out in the wilderness on some mission or other. If you can draw power directly from the wearer's body, then you can greatly improve the usefulness of his electronic augmentations.

Re:Question (2, Funny)

fataugie (89032) | about 4 years ago | (#32926598)

Wearables? You mean like babies and midgets? Where do you plug in?

Re:Question (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32926258)

This is so insightful. Granted the efficiencies on solar cells have come a long way in the past decade, why we don't see more focus on solar, geothermal, wind, and wave, and nuclear everywhere is beyond me.

Oh wait, theres that black shiny shit that sells like gold shiny shit and western countries will keep buying it! And Old Money Willakers & Trust is just happy as a clam as long as they oil industry stays afloat (no pun intended), keeping their trust funds large and in charge. And where the money is, the power is.

Now I remember.

Re:Question (1)

rufty_tufty (888596) | about 4 years ago | (#32926332)

You know I always wondered how hard it would be to make a gadget that syphoned off blood, metabolised the sugar and then popped the blood back into the body.
Instant slimming aid and heat pack! No-one need ever be overweight again.
What could possibly go wrong?

Re:Question (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | about 4 years ago | (#32926688)

At what point did you deduce that humans were rare energy sources?

We've already started with abundant energy sources - Oil and Gas, and now Solar and other green projects are taking off. DARPA is always trying to do the next big thing - in this case, efficiency through a closed energy system.

Re:Question (1)

Actually, I do RTFA (1058596) | about 4 years ago | (#32926754)

Because the problem isn't generation, it's storage. And, as it turns out, everytime I want to use a battery powered device, there I am!

Also, as poor a power source as a human is, I'm already wasting enough power to power some things.

I'm Not Fat! (5, Funny)

eldavojohn (898314) | about 4 years ago | (#32925852)

I'm a D Cell battery!

Re:I'm Not Fat! (1)

GungaDan (195739) | about 4 years ago | (#32926014)

He ain't heavy, he's SLA!

Re:I'm Not Fat! (1)

badran (973386) | about 4 years ago | (#32926016)

I was thinking about a 3R12.

Re:I'm Not Fat! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32926280)

<Sgt.Gunny>With that size son you're a giant d-bag battery!</Sgt.Gunny>

Re:I'm Not Fat! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32926290)

I wanna marry a Double-D cell chick!

Meta (0, Redundant)

yogidog98 (1800862) | about 4 years ago | (#32925868)

Insert witty, esoteric Matrix quote here.

using heat energy (0, Offtopic)

nopainogain (1091795) | about 4 years ago | (#32925906)

if they target heat energy from human bodies, i can think of 3 or more realistically 10 ex girlfriends who wont have anything to worry about!

Holy shit...I guess I DID take the red pill... (0, Redundant)

moxley (895517) | about 4 years ago | (#32925926)

Holy shit...I guess I DID take the red pill...

Now...where's Trinity..I have a job for her...

A Kind of Fusion (1)

Drakkenmensch (1255800) | about 4 years ago | (#32925954)

Do they have it yet?

I don't know (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 4 years ago | (#32925994)

anything that results in me learning Kung-Fu in 10 seconds might be worth it.

Anyways, I hope a practical device for charging personal carry device while walking comes out of this. I would like to charge my phone while walking into work.

Actually, even if it was a device that looked like a know brace, but generated power while walking would be ok place to start.

Re:I don't know (1)

maxume (22995) | about 4 years ago | (#32926222)

I'm curious, how do you go about trying to type "knee" and then end up with "know"?

Re:I don't know (1)

MarkvW (1037596) | about 4 years ago | (#32926636)

Sorry, but you must hbave a knee to know.

Re:I don't know (1)

kuzb (724081) | about 4 years ago | (#32926674)

on Friday July 16, @07:34AM

I'm going to go ahead and say insufficient coffee

average human is 75-watt light bulb (5, Informative)

peter303 (12292) | about 4 years ago | (#32926020)

Auditorium A/C designers know that - about one watt per kilogram resting, triple that when aerobic. Many portable electronics devices can run off a few percent of that energy. It would be nice to capture that energy mechanically, thermally, or chemically.

Re:average human is 75-watt light bulb (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32926152)

A number of people I know are not quite that bright..

Re:average human is 75-watt light bulb (3, Funny)

nightfire-unique (253895) | about 4 years ago | (#32926240)

Auditorium A/C designers know that - about one watt per kilogram resting, triple that when aerobic. Many portable electronics devices can run off a few percent of that energy. It would be nice to capture that energy mechanically, thermally, or chemically.

Sir, what exactly do you have in mind? :)

Instruction manual told you to put the anode where?!

Re:average human is 75-watt light bulb (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32926692)

average human is 75-watt light bulb

Unfortunately many humans are much dimmer than that.

Re:average human is 75-watt light bulb (1)

Shakrai (717556) | about 4 years ago | (#32926698)

I calculated it out as closer to 100 watts once upon a time. A 2,250 kilocarolie a day diet works out to 9,414,000 joules. Divide that by 86,400 and you get an average of ~109 joules per second. Since a joule is the same as a watt second that's a greater energy requirement than a 100 watt light bulb.

Of course the GI system isn't 100% efficient at digesting food and the actual energy output changes based on activity but it's still pretty amazing to consider the amount of energy that your body requires in order to remain functional.

Even after you're gone (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32926036)

I recall a few Universities had gotten research grants to develop gadgets and batteries that would run based on the chemicals that are released upon death. The idea was that when a soldier was slain, their body would naturally power a GPS device to assist in body recovery.

So combine that work with this, and you have electronics running even when the heat and movement power is no longer available.

kinetic energy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32926044)

Isn't keeping front-line troops fed-up a problem already? I mean the guys that ave to carry their own food. Harnessing energy from their movements will just increase their food requirements further.

Energy out without more food? (1)

Drethon (1445051) | about 4 years ago | (#32926056)

I wonder if any of these energy gathering methods work without eating more food to gather this energy...

Re:Energy out without more food? (1)

Tekfactory (937086) | about 4 years ago | (#32926124)

The real question, is will the heat capture make you hotter or cooler?

Will the "Motion Capture" just slow you down.

In theory the waste heat is just going somwhere, and whether it evaporatoes off you or goes into a good capture system it might make you feel cooler.

However, when you put an electrical load on an electrical system in your car, it calls on the Alternator, which drags down the available horsepower of the engine, fuel effienciency, etc. Even with frictionless bearings, the magnets are taking work out of the system to convert it to energy.

There was a proposal to use some kind of springs to absorb the up and down motion in soldier's packs to create energy, maybe thatwork is already going on and is easier to absorb, wheras the alternator/AC in your car isn't trying as hard unless you tell it to, or the compressor kicks off a cooling cycle.

Re:Energy out without more food? (1)

maxume (22995) | about 4 years ago | (#32926250)

If the goal is convenience, it doesn't really matter.

(and the ratio between watt-hours and kilocalories is 0.86, so it isn't as if watt-scale devices are going to double your energy budget)

What? No Stillsuit references (1)

Tekfactory (937086) | about 4 years ago | (#32926066)

I hear the maintenance of the foot pumps can be a problem, but otherwise they're quite stylish.

Here's my solution (3, Interesting)

david.emery (127135) | about 4 years ago | (#32926106)

If you want (a) power; (b) biometric identification; (c) biological status/health monitoring, consider the Rectal Thermocouple... This will normally generate substantial additional power in combat as an added benefit. :-)

Terrible implications (4, Funny)

srealm (157581) | about 4 years ago | (#32926110)

OK, so humans become mobile power sources.

I really don't want to see a guy on the side of the road with wires shoved up his arse trying to jump his car to start because his battery is dead.
*clench* "Try it now!"

That said, I guess the BDSM scene can now do something useful after attaching the alligator clamps to their nipples.

Pffff (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | about 4 years ago | (#32926132)

If they can't get us to fission spontaneously, i'm not at all impressed.

What we really need ... (1)

Ihlosi (895663) | about 4 years ago | (#32926170)

... is a way of using chemical energy supplied by the body to generate electricity. And to make it a bit more challenging, harnessing this energy must not harm the body in question.

A patent on that would be a license to print money.

Dear DARPA (1)

confused one (671304) | about 4 years ago | (#32926180)

Someone send these people a copy of The Matrix please. Include a nicely worded letter telling them to pay attention to the subplots....

form of fusion (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32926220)

It's fine. As long as they don't combine the energy with a form of fusion, we're safe.

mine? (1)

S-4'N3 (1232394) | about 4 years ago | (#32926238)

When can I get my stillsuit?

That's just great... (1)

Aaron.SD (1815892) | about 4 years ago | (#32926302)

Now I'm going to have to down 5-hour Energy Drinks just to listen to my iPod!

usgs reports off during 'banker's hours' (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32926348)

imagine if your 'battery' needed to power, say, st. louis, for a few seconds? see you on the other side of it?

not much doubt about the usgs seismic reporting machine being FUDged just by looking at the day to day pattern.

Wrong direction for soldiers? (1)

cgenman (325138) | about 4 years ago | (#32926416)

Aren't soldiers already complaining about the weight of all of the junk they have to carry? Devices that take away their mechanical energy, or reduce the temperature difference between them and the surrounding environment, seem like a good way of making things harder.

Maybe they won't have to carry all of the extra batteries, which will help. But power-generating shoes are inherently mushy and feel like running through mud, as is all of the other ways of generating power from human movement. It's not free energy.

Is the MATRIX coming? (1)

stanlyb (1839382) | about 4 years ago | (#32926454)

Somebody watched too many sci-fi movies..... or maybe the Matrix is the new reality?

Sharing the workload (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32926604)

If it means the Duracell bunny can have a day off then I'm all for it.

kid stuff (2, Interesting)

Goldsmith (561202) | about 4 years ago | (#32926670)

If these guys were serious about powering implants, they'd be using ATP or glucose. Heat and vibrations are nice, but a few more steps down the thermodynamic pipeline.

Plus, the good piezoelectrics are not exactly made of bio-friendly metals.

Reminded of kinetic watches (1)

Alien1024 (1742918) | about 4 years ago | (#32926740)

Kinetic watches have been around for quite a few decades. Not sure about thermal though.

Hope we see civil appliances soon.

The biggest problem (1)

scorp1us (235526) | about 4 years ago | (#32926748)

Is that evolution has selected for a very efficient biological machine. If you are going to harness energy from movement, then you're going to require additional energy, in for the form of biological consumables, which have to be stored, transported an prepared. By extracting energy from the organism, you have to make the assertion that the organism can obtain its own fuel easier than you can. At 100w/sqm, and efficiency rates of 14%, You're looking at 3.5w per backpack of solar collection. Can your body output 3 watts? In nearly every example, its better to give the electronics their own source.

It is important to note that enery isn't "wasted" it is expended. And to put anything on yourself to collect it, is going to up your expenditure of energy. DARPA is essentially trying to strap windmills onto aircraft... (which doesn't work, because they add weight and drag)
 

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