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Researchers Develop Insect Powered Energy Source

Unknown Lamer posted more than 2 years ago | from the cyber-insect-overlords dept.

Biotech 69

cylonlover writes with this excerpt from an article at Gizmag: "Research into developing insect cyborgs for use as first responders or super stealthy spies has been going on for a while now. Most research has focused on using batteries, tiny solar cells, or piezoelectric generators to harvest kinetic energy from the movement of an insect's wings to power the electronics attached to the insects. Now a group of researchers at Case Western Reserve University have created a biofuel cell power supply that relies just on the insect's normal feeding [registration required to download full paper]."

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Neo, the Matrix has you! (2, Interesting)

gentryx (759438) | more than 2 years ago | (#38637806)

How long until we can power devices from human body heat or even by the ATP derived from nutrients in our blood?

Re:Neo, the Matrix has you! (5, Funny)

slackware 3.6 (2524328) | more than 2 years ago | (#38637832)

People are unhealthy enough as it is. I don't think your average american's body can afford to lose any more nutrients.

Re:Neo, the Matrix has you! (1)

vikingpower (768921) | more than 2 years ago | (#38637872)

Amen. That option is definitely for european health freaks and ethiopian athletes only.

Re:Neo, the Matrix has you! (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38637874)

Are you kidding?? This is the solution to Obesity Nation Wide! Use your own fat to power all your mobile devices.. i'm down!

Re:Neo, the Matrix has you! (5, Funny)

gentryx (759438) | more than 2 years ago | (#38637908)

Yep, I do absolutely agree. Eat as much pizza as you want, but be sure to burn those calories by powering your laptop afterwards. It's a win-win situation!

Re:Neo, the Matrix has you! (3, Funny)

dmbasso (1052166) | more than 2 years ago | (#38638982)

What calories? Pizza is a vegetable!

Re:Neo, the Matrix has you! (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 2 years ago | (#38639222)

Nobody said that pizza itself it a vegetable. What I believe you are referring to is that the USDA guidelines state that Pizza counts as a serving of vegetables, because of the fact that pizza contains vegetables. What's funny is that even if it only contains vegetables in the "tomato" sauce, that it still counts as a serving. Of course, it's not surprising given their track record which counts ketchup as a vegetable, or french fries for that matter.

Re:Neo, the Matrix has you! (1)

dmbasso (1052166) | more than 2 years ago | (#38639342)

There's nothing like a good explication to completely ruin what was already a bad joke! Thank you! :)

Re:Neo, the Matrix has you! (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 2 years ago | (#38640250)

Ruining a bad joke is like ruining a turd. It can't be done. A joke that incredibly stupid must be taken seriously, and its spewer stomped on. Not only does pizza have vegetables, but vegetables have calories (how can anyone at /. not know that???)

Anyone know where I can find a good nerd site that keeps out the normtards?

Re:Neo, the Matrix has you! (1)

slackware 3.6 (2524328) | more than 2 years ago | (#38640432)

Hey you can ruin a turd. Ever been on a walk through the park and you accidentally step on a beautifully coiled piece of art some pooch left? Unfortunately you can't step on a bad joke even though they both smell.

Re:Neo, the Matrix has you! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38639922)

"tomato" [wikipedia.org] is a fruit, not a vegetable.

Re:Neo, the Matrix has you! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38640072)

"Fruit" is a botanical term, whereas "vegetable" is not, and the two are not mutually exclusive. A tomato is both a fruit and a vegetable, just like a cucumber.

Re:Neo, the Matrix has you! (1)

Nrrqshrr (1879148) | more than 2 years ago | (#38640234)

My girlfriend tells me I analyze things way too much... I told her to check /., people here do it for a living.

Re:Neo, the Matrix has you! (2)

robthebloke (1308483) | more than 2 years ago | (#38638232)

Despite what MacDonald's claims, fat isn't a substitute for nutrients.....

Re:Neo, the Matrix has you! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38640202)

Are you kidding?? This is the solution to Obesity Nation Wide! Use your own fat to power all your mobile devices.. i'm down!

And I can't get up!

Re:Neo, the Matrix has you! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38637892)

On the other hand, what if you could have something eat the sugar in a diabetic's blood, while charging their latest electronic device? Call it iInsulin!

Re:Neo, the Matrix has you! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38637928)

Do you get to plug the charger into your ass?

Re:Neo, the Matrix has you! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38638004)

People are unhealthy enough as it is. I don't think your average american's body can afford to lose any more nutrients.

How can you talk with all that DICK in your MOUTH?

Re:Neo, the Matrix has you! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38638086)

It is very easy to type with a dick in your mouth.

Re:Neo, the Matrix has you! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38638194)

Well, at least they were able to find that dick...

"nutrients" vs. calories (5, Insightful)

jeffb (2.718) (1189693) | more than 2 years ago | (#38638088)

First, let's skip the term "nutrients", which marketing and new-age blather have rendered meaningless for public discussion. This wouldn't consume vitamins and minerals. It would consume blood sugar or lipids, both of which average Americans have in great excess.

I've been calling for this (blood-sugar power for implanted devices) for decades. It's easy to point out how obvious this solution is, because I'm not in a field that gives me any insight into the actual technical problems.

If I had to power my computing and communication tools from my own body's stores of energy, I'd get to eat a lot more, and I'd probably still lose the spare tire.

Re:"nutrients" vs. calories (4, Funny)

HBI (604924) | more than 2 years ago | (#38638200)

It's easy to point out how obvious this solution is, because I'm not in a field that gives me any insight into the actual technical problems.

I love this statement. I will use this in the future without reference to you in meatspace, sadly.

Re:"nutrients" vs. calories (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 2 years ago | (#38638924)

Blood is a rather delicate fluid.

Re:"nutrients" vs. calories (1)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 2 years ago | (#38639354)

If we can only weaponize it, Americans would be all over it.

"Paint a target with the LipidLaser 2000 and our global network of satellites will obliterate it from orbit with microwaves! Lose weight AND your enemies!"

Re:Neo, the Matrix has you! (1)

canajin56 (660655) | more than 2 years ago | (#38638108)

Yes, because Americans are well known for having low amounts of sugar in their diets.

Re:Neo, the Matrix has you! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38638206)

Are you kidding me? If you could convert unnecessary body mass into useful energy, the average American would become self-sufficient. And probably invincible.

Re:Neo, the Matrix has you! (3)

Tyr07 (2300912) | more than 2 years ago | (#38637934)

The Matrix 4

You finally discover that really it was humans that lived above ground and developed the heat feeding system. People of Zion are really the robots.

I want to work on the software for that project (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38637988)

Just so I can say, "My bugs have bugs" :-)

Re:I want to work on the software for that project (1)

TheDarkMaster (1292526) | more than 2 years ago | (#38639646)

And caution with recursive problems :)

word of the day : Siphonaptera (1)

Thud457 (234763) | more than 2 years ago | (#38640228)

prior art [wikipedia.org]

Which means that the animal will have to feed (1)

Hentes (2461350) | more than 2 years ago | (#38638024)

Batteries are more efficient in energy/mass ratio than feeding is. Which means, the insect either has to bring food with it, which is inefficient, or have to find some and feed on spot, in which case it can't be remote controlled.

Everything will be great (1)

binarylarry (1338699) | more than 2 years ago | (#38638046)

Until someone builds an evolution chamber and a bunch of spine crawlers show up.

I've seen this before on some of the colonies.

PETA protests in 3..2..1.. (4, Funny)

uncanny (954868) | more than 2 years ago | (#38638052)

Yeah, they want humane treatment for insects too, i have a vegan friend that wont even eat honey or use silk

Re:PETA protests in 3..2..1.. (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 2 years ago | (#38638118)

They do have crappy silk that doesn't involve killing the worms...

Re:PETA protests in 3..2..1.. (1)

harperska (1376103) | more than 2 years ago | (#38638240)

The vegan (as opposed to vegetarian) "philosophy" prohibits using or consuming anything animal derived, even if the animal itself isn't killed. That's why vegans won't drink milk or eat honey. So even silk that didn't involve killing the worms still came from worms, and is therefore still a vegan taboo.

Re:PETA protests in 3..2..1.. (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38638454)

Where do they think plant fertilizer comes from?

Re:PETA protests in 3..2..1.. (3, Informative)

Brian Feldman (350) | more than 2 years ago | (#38640434)

Organic compost of plant matter? Just because, in the U.S.A., agriculture has a hard-on for pollution, chemical fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides, does not mean that no alternative exists.

Re:PETA protests in 3..2..1.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38641706)

All organic sources of nitrogen suitable for plants come from animal shit. Then the microbes in the soil break the complex organic molecules down into the same simple molecules contained in the "chemical fertilizer."

Seaweed is an exception here, but your garden will suffer if you only use seaweed as a source of nitrogen. Fish poop, bat guano, and potash are the best organic sources of N-P-K (in that order).

All of that being said, expect your food prices to quadruple or more using organic fertilizers.

Re:PETA protests in 3..2..1.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38644796)

How about plants that feed on insects?

Re:PETA protests in 3..2..1.. (3, Interesting)

DrXym (126579) | more than 2 years ago | (#38638586)

I wonder how many bugs, worms, rodents, amphibians and assorted other animals are killed when some farmer runs a combine or plough over a field during the course of a year.

Re:PETA protests in 3..2..1.. (1)

vidnet (580068) | more than 2 years ago | (#38649660)

Yeah, they want humane treatment for insects too

I wonder how many bugs, worms, rodents, amphibians and assorted other animals are killed when some farmer runs a combine or plough over a field during the course of a year

Car analogy time:

Yeah, they want humane treatment for humans too

I wonder how many people die on the roads each year

Hah, idiots. They think they can be for driving but against murder. It makes no sense!

Re:PETA protests in 3..2..1.. (2)

O('_')O_Bush (1162487) | more than 2 years ago | (#38639056)

Yet they burn dead animals in their car engines...

Re:PETA protests in 3..2..1.. (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 2 years ago | (#38639302)

Some forms of vegan don't mind using anything the animal naturally casts off. Or they could be a level five vegan and not eat anything that casts a shadow.

Re:PETA protests in 3..2..1.. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38640856)

Plants cast shadows last time I checked.

Re:PETA protests in 3..2..1.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38648938)

Plants cast shadows last time I checked.

Not if you get the lighting right.

Re:PETA protests in 3..2..1.. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38638146)

Yeah, they want humane treatment for insects too, i have a vegan friend that wont even eat honey or use silk

Really? Wow. I deal with that by not hanging out with fucking lunatics, myself.

Very soon (2)

koan (80826) | more than 2 years ago | (#38638128)

You too can be the "fly on the wall" watching and listening through a tiny video camera and mic attached to the fly.

Yes, but.. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38638160)

Can it power my TV?

Re:Yes, but.. (2)

Zephyn (415698) | more than 2 years ago | (#38638764)

Perhaps not the TV, but imagine a self powering bug zapper.

Poetry (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38643176)

Powered by bugs? Oh, the irony..

A bug (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38638190)

It's a bug, and a feature!

Re:A bug (1)

guybrush3pwood (1579937) | more than 2 years ago | (#38646920)

You, sir, deserve mod points.

Pretty girls (3, Funny)

programmerar (915654) | more than 2 years ago | (#38638222)

In the future, all the pretty girls will have flies circling around them. (remote controlled by /. readers et all).

It might actually turn into sign of desirability. More flies == more fly (pun intended).

Re:Pretty girls (1)

endloop (2544192) | more than 2 years ago | (#38641520)

You did not intend that pun, admit it!

Re:Pretty girls (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38643060)

(pun intended)

Well thank you, I would have missed that otherwise.

This is creepily like my book (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38638352)

My ultra-non selling quasi-science fiction book (The Longshores Rising OMG SHAMELESS PLUG) on amazon.. only thing is I never imagined we'd have invented a bioelectric power supply. All we need now is a nannite sublayer in our bloodstream and a few energy output systems cough cough lasers and we're good to go!

Bad Sample? (0)

adamchou (993073) | more than 2 years ago | (#38638362)

The sample age was 45-70 and they found that cognitive decline started at 45? Shouldn't they have started sampling people in their 30's to see a better bell curve?

Re:Bad Sample? (0)

adamchou (993073) | more than 2 years ago | (#38638400)

woops, i replied in the wrong article. ignore that

Re:Bad Sample? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38638608)

Are you over 45?

Re:Bad Sample? (3, Funny)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 2 years ago | (#38638614)

Probably a sign of cognitive decline. ;-)

Surprising, but it shouldn't be (1)

Angst Badger (8636) | more than 2 years ago | (#38638370)

So our first steps into bridging the biological/electronic divide involve what is essentially an artificial parasite? Somehow, I fear it will not be long before some medical researcher who has read too much Douglas Hofstadter thinks of taking it to the next level of abstraction by monitoring intestinal health using parasitic instruments attached to tapeworms.

Hmm. Maybe I should write a grant proposal: (1)

Hartree (191324) | more than 2 years ago | (#38640004)

"parasitic instruments attached to tapeworms"

Well, now that you mention it, tapeworms are a lot better at controlling our immune systems than we are...

I for one welcome our new cyborg helminth overlords!

Squeak (2)

virgnarus (1949790) | more than 2 years ago | (#38638784)

Finally. I think we've relied on hamsters-on-wheels for far too long.

would this nutrition include human flash? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38639356)

mmh yea ^

DECLINE? Nonsense Im over 45 I can categorically (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38639466)

state that ... err what was I talking about?

matrix (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38639762)

is this insect version of matrix? How long before insect neo rises against the human masters?

God shmod, I want my monkeyman! (1)

Thud457 (234763) | more than 2 years ago | (#38640054)

Maybe mainstream Western Science will some day catch up with Viktor Grebennikov's work.

So... parasitic implants? (1)

macraig (621737) | more than 2 years ago | (#38640650)

There's the core of an SF-horror movie for ya.

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