Scientists at the University of Southampton in England have created a tiny device that grabs power from vibrations in the environment around it. Only a cubic centimeter in size, the mini-generator only produces micro-watts of power, but the scientists say that’s enough to fire up tiny wireless sensors that would normally require bulkier batteries. In the long run, the scientists suggest it could be used in a heart pacemaker, too. In this case, the generator would be able to borrow enough power from the beating heart to keep the pacemaker running - and patients wouldn’t have to go in for surgery to have their batteries replaced.—Gregory Mone
(Image credit: University of Southampton)
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.