Researchers at Georgia Tech recently discovered that hamsters running on wheels are good for more than just a laugh— they can also drive nanogenerators to produce electric currents. While the electricity produced from hamster biomotions is small (one nanowatt), it may be enough to drive nano-sized devices.
The Georgia Tech team isn’t the first to harvest biomechanical energy at a specific frequency, but it is the first to harvest irregular motions.
The researchers’ nanogenerator uses a series of zinc-oxide nanowires mounted on a flexible plastic surface. When the plastic bends, the wires bend and an electric potential drives a current to an external electrical circuit.
While the nanogenerator only uses hamster-harvested energy for now, a similar device could one day be woven into human jackets to harvest energy for portable electronics.
Photo Credit: Georgia Tech
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