Your hot bod could soon power wearable batteries

Your hot bod could soon power wearable batteries

Researchers at North Carolina State University have developed a new system that can convert the heat given off by your body into usable electricity.

The system uses thermoelectric generators, or TEGs, to create energy using the temperature differential between the wearer's body and the air around them.

Whereas previous attempts at a Matrix-style human battery have used bulky, low-yield heat sinks to store body heat, TEGs generate twenty times as much juice while remaining much more comfortable and lightweight than heat sinks.

Using a polymer that can be applied to both skin and fabric, the TEG system can generate up to 20 µW per square centimeter - meaning more coverage could potentially yield even more power, depending on where it's located.

Where could this technology be applied?

Developed in part with the National Science Foundation's Nanosystems Engineering Research Center for Advanced Self-Powered Systems of Integrated Sensors and Technologies (whew), the TEG system was designed primarily with medical implements in mind.

"The goal [...] is to make wearable technologies that can be used for long-term health monitoring, such as devices that track heart health or monitor physical and environmental variables to predict and prevent asthma attacks," says Daryoosh Vashaee, an associate professor at NC State. "To do that, we want to make devices that don't rely on batteries.

While it would take some serious refinement, we could also see a body heat-powered system making its way to more commercial products. Imagine a smartwatch that could keep its battery life up just by sapping your body temperature - too bad we'd probably also have to build up a sweat first.

Top Image Credit: North Carolina State University


Brew it (cider) yourself with Alchema

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Things are starting to get a bit crowded in the world of automated home brewing, with startups like PicoBrew, Brewie and BrewBot all more or less vying for the same small sliver of space. And while these machines have raked in their share of dough through crowdfunding efforts, it seems pretty likely that actual retail interest be enough to maintain all comers. Alchema, on the other hand,… Read More


Autopilot radar maker Mobileye says it warned Tesla against enabling hands-free driving – VentureBeat


Autopilot radar maker Mobileye says it warned Tesla against enabling hands-free driving
Above: The radar technology of a Tesla Model S containing autopilot features is pointed out during a Tesla event in Palo Alto, California. Image Credit: REUTERS/Beck Diefenbach. (By Eric Auchard for Reuters) — Mobileye NV said in a U.S. securities ...
Spat Between MobilEye And Tesla Goes PublicGas 2.0
Software co.: We warned Tesla about Autopilot useThe Detroit News
Tesla disputes Mobileye's accusations, Mobileye shoots backArs Technica
Wall Street Journal -Fortune -Tech Times -PR Newswire (press release)
all 454 news articles »


China to launch its second “Heavenly Palace” on Thursday morning

A schematic showing the Tiangong-2 space station, along with its launch vehicle and the crewed spacecraft that will visit it later this year. (credit: Xinhua)

China will take its next step toward a large space station on Thursday, when it intends to launch the Tiangong-2 laboratory into orbit. The 8.5-ton, 10.4-meter-long facility will launch from the Jiuquan launch center in the Gobi Desert, aboard a Long March 2-F rocket. The launch is set for 10:04am ET (15:04pm BST) Thursday, and live video may be available at this link.

This space station, "Heavenly Palace 2," will be China's second after it launched the similarly sized Tiangong-1 laboratory in 2011. Following this week's launch, China plans to send two taikonauts to Tiangong-2 in four to six weeks aboard a Shenzhou-11 spacecraft. They will live there for about a month, testing out the lab's life support systems and performing scientific research. According to China's official news service, Xinhua, those experiments will involve areas of medicine, physics, and biology, as well as quantum key transmission, space atomic clock, and solar storm research.

As part of its robust space plan, China intends to scale up to a full-size space station during the next decade. To help lay the groundwork for that station, Chinese space officials have said they will launch the country's first robotic resupply mission, Tianzhou-1 ("Heavenly vessel"), in 2017, to the Tiangong-2 lab. The larger, modular station China is planning may have a mass of about 60 tons. That would be considerably larger than the Tiangdong laboratories but still moderately sized compared to the 420-ton International Space Station.

Read 1 remaining paragraphs | Comments


Up to the minute tech coverage from all over the web