Sunday, July 25, 2010

DARPA's Energy Starved Electronics (ESE) Program with M.I.T. Will Harness Human Bioenergy to Power Electronics

In the Matrix, the machines used the humans as batteries after the humans blackened the sky with chemtrails that blocked the sun forever. According the Morpheus, "[t]he human body generates more bio-electricity than a 120-volt battery and over 25,000 B.T.U.'s of body heat." You can debate the physics and accuracy of those numbers elsewhere, but it is obvious that the human body does have the capability to power external devices.

Enter my favorite governmental entity of all - DARPA (but that's not saying much).

DARPA is currently developing new technologies that will allow people to harness power from the human body to power electronics.

But engineers developing such embedded technologies face a big obstacle: power. The devices pack so much gadgetry into such tiny spaces that even the smallest batteries would be too bulky, never mind the inconvenience (and potential discomfort) of replacing them.

To solve the power shortage, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)—the U.S. Department of Defense agency behind technologies that led to the Internet and the Global Positioning System, among other things—launched an Energy Starved Electronics program in 2005 with MIT. Re­­searchers there have a new idea for powering embedded electronics: “scavenging” energy from the human body.

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.

I have written numerous posts on ol' DARPA, so if you are just joining this program, do an archive search on 'DARPA' by clicking here.

Source: The Smithsonian

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