Microbe Powered Robot

A new robot created by researchers at the University of Bristol has the mission of cleaning ponds and lakes. Powered by the microbes it scoops up from the water and digests, it doesn't need any recharging to keep going. The Row-bot is inspired by the water boatman insect and uses a similar mechanism to glide across the surface of water, in the robot's case, a paddle powered by a 0.75 Watt DC motor. Both bug and robot maximize surface area when making a power stroke and then minimize surface area...
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Hand-powered Circo dishwasher

Chen Levin has designed a small dishwasher powered by human kinetic energy that can fit in even the smallest of spaces. It is estimated that 75 percent of the global population will live in urban areas by 2050. While this urbanization presents great opportunities, it will be an enormous challenge to ensure that energy and space is distributed efficiently and equitably for who will call the city their home. This Independent dishwasher will hopefully help meet the demands of a dense urban future. ...
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This Saltwater-Powered Lamp can also charge your cell phone!

Lighting is something that we take for granted in the developed world, but there are still many areas around the globe where people lack reliable access to light at night. Around one-fifth of the world’s population has no access to electricity. They often use kerosene lamps, which contribute to indoor pollution and have to be refilled with oil regularly. Also they are bad for the environment and human health. To solve this problem, an engineering start-up called SALt(Sustainable Alternative Ligh...
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Old laptop batteries could power slums.

Old laptop batteries still have enough life in them to power homes in slums, researchers have said. An IBM study analyzed a sample of discarded batteries and found 70% had enough power to keep an LED light on more than four hours a day for a year. Researchers said using discarded batteries is cheaper than existing power options, and also helps deal with the mounting e-waste problem. The IBM team created what they called an UrJar, a device that uses lithium-ion cells from the old batteries to ...
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Solar-Powered umbrella automatically inflates when the sun shines.

The Cumulus Parasol is a solar powered cloud-shaped parasol that automatically inflates when the sun starts shining to keep you in the shade. This artificial cumulus protects you from the sun. Whenever the sun comes out, this parasol inflates automatically in about 20 seconds to a cloud like shape using a solar panel at the top. The inflated Cumulus has a diameter of two meters. The cloud does not have a metal core structure. The curved shape of the inflated cloud is aerodynamic, allowing it ...
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Smart Tennis Racket.

The Babolat Play Pure Drive racket looks like a regular racket on the outside. However, sensors integrated into the handle allow players to have access to a lot of information on power, impact locator, type and number of strokes (forehand, backhand, serve, overhead smash). Babolat's challenge has been to integrate sensors in the handle of the racket without changing the playability or the feel of the racket. The design seamlessly integrates 2 buttons and a USB port inside the butt cap without ch...
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Power Claw Gloves allow you to feel heat and cold in virtual reality apps.

Can you imagine burning your fingertips or feel that ice freezes your hand as you interact with a program of virtual reality? The Mexican company Vivoxie created Power Claw, a pair of gloves with an interface that stimulates the skin and allows the sense of touch in cyber worlds.The device generate the sensation of heat, cold, vibration and roughness of objects that are part of a virtual reality. The gloves are complemented with Oculus Rift glasses. Designed to work with the Oculus Rift virtu...
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Manmade Tidal Lagoon could change the future of clean energy.

The Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon will be the world’s first ever plant to generate electricity using its own novel method. Should it prove successful, the plant’s template could be adopted worldwide as a way of generating green power while simultaneously providing sea wall protection to coastal communities. Just outside the Welsh city of Swansea, the U.K. is planning one of the most innovative power plants ever constructed. It’s not the plant’s size that is striking, though it could ultimately pro...
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Reinvent the Bike Wheel

The Copenhagen Wheel turns a standard bike into a power-assisted electric bike. Imagine if you could transform your bicycle into a smart electric hybrid, quickly and easily. The Copenhagen Wheel was developed at MIT’s SENSEable City Laboratory in 2009, as part of a research project sponsored by the Mayor of Copenhagen. The Copenhagen Wheel is a rear wheel replacement and turns a standard bike into a power-assisted electric bike. It pairs with a smartphone app, which readies the wheel for u...
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Nigerian student creates mobile medical battery back-up system.

A Nigerian product design engineering graduate from the University of Derby in the United Kingdom (UK), Jaiyeola Oduyoye, has created a mobile medical battery back-up system that aids the growth of surgeries taking place in developing countries. Oduyoye, has created a product that provides temporary backup electricity to operate in theatres in developing countries, countries that have difficulty in accessing 24/7 electricity, so that they are able to perform surgeries in their country, rather th...
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Nature inspires first artificial molecular pump

The first artificial molecular pump that uses non-equilibrium chemistry was developed by a team of Northwestern scientists, in which molecules pump other molecules. This tiny machine is no small feat. The pump one day might be used to power other molecular machines, such as artificial muscles. The new machine mimics the pumping mechanism of life-sustaining proteins that move small molecules around living cells to metabolize and store energy from food. For its food, the artificial pump draws p...
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Harvard Scientists Make Solar Power Production More Efficient

Solar power could be increased tenfold without additional storage in the near future. A team of Harvard scientists and engineers demonstrated a rechargeable battery that could make storing electricity from intermittently available energy sources, like sun and wind which is safe and cost-effective for both residential and commercial use. Much of the nation’s energy policy is premised on the assumption that clean, renewable energy, such as wind and solar power, will require huge quantities o...
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Rubber That Can Use Energy from body movements to Generate Power

Power-generating rubber material could harness walking and other movement to charge electronic devices. Researchers at Princeton University have recently invented a new energy-harvesting rubber material composed of ceramic nanoribbons that could harvest energy from your breathing and walking. This material is composed of ceramic nanoribbons embedded onto silicone rubber sheets which generates electricity when flexed and is highly efficient at converting mechanical energy to electrical ener...
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