Power Jacket Uses Body Motion to Power Electronics
November 7, 2007 9:31 AM
comment(s) - last by
The Flexible Integrated Energy Device (FIED) in development in Australia
But will it be used for good or for evil?
Like something from Terminator or Robocop, the power jacket towers, pulsing with electricity ... to power your consumer electronics.
Okay, so maybe the
new power jacket being developed by CSIRO
, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization, Australia's national science agency, isn't a high-tech super-weapon, but you still would feel decidedly futuristic wearing one.
The power jacket, which could also serve other less extraordinary purposes -- such as providing warmth -- is fueled by a device in development at the CSIRO, funded by a $4.1 million grant. The device driving the jacket is dubbed "Flexible Integrated Energy Device" (FIED), designed to be easily inserted in coats or jackets.
The device is composed of three distinct layers of components. The first rests in the form of two piezoelectric shoulder pads, which generate electricity based on user movement. The second portion consists of patches of conductive fabric, resting over the user's chest and abdomen, which store the charge generated by the shoulder pads. The last portion of the device is the rectifier and power control circuity, which converts the generated electricity into a usable form.
Lead researcher on the project, Dr. Adam Best described the device's impressive design in a recent press release by CSIRO. “It will look like an ordinary garment but have extraordinary capabilities.", he says. "As the person wearing the garment moves,the vibrations they create can be harvested and channeled in to recharging the battery or powering plug-in electronic device or devices. CSIRO has combined its significant capabilities in the areas of energy harvesting, energy storage and advanced fibre development to create the integrated battery technology.”
The power jacket seems like an intriguing example of a technology that would find itself equally at home in the consumer market -- for example, powering MP3 players for winter sports participants -- and in the defense field, powering soldier's electronics.
The military use was a major consideration in designing the device. Today's soldiers carry a large amount of batteries to power their electronics, and these batteries weigh them down and decrease mobility. By wearing a power jacket, they could ditch the batteries.
Dr. Best was thrilled at the possibility of aiding Australia's armed forces, saying, “It’s a real motivator to know this technology could one day be used by the men and women who serve in Australia’s Defence Force to protect our country.”
Several key challenges will need to be overcome in order for the jacket to be fully wearable and usable. The jacket's electronics will need to be water resistant as they might be soaked by rain or tossed in the washing machine. The electronics must also be light-weight.
The idea of wearable electronics is not a new one. Previously,
Phillips demonstration of LED fabric technology
, also recently
reported on the debacle involving an MIT student
wearing a LED-laden tech-art vest being arrested at gunpoint at the airport, under bomb suspicions.
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
11/7/2007 1:14:19 PM
Damn my rail gun is out of power, hold on while I do some jumping jacks.
Seriously how much power could be genereated here. I know the it is not meant to power the device in real time, hence the batteries, but how long of a recharge time are we talking about. Wouldn't a simple hand cranked generator be more effective anyway?
RE: Future Soldier
11/7/2007 3:08:48 PM
Wouldn't a simple hand cranked generator be more effective anyway?
2 hand crank generators + women's jacket = 2008
invention of the year
RE: Future Soldier
11/8/2007 12:04:57 PM
Or from a more practical angle, if it's motion that we're trying to capture here, I bet that an energy capturing bra would be quite a powerhouse when strapped to the right equipment.
Hell, with the kind of kinetic energy a female torso can generate, I wouldn't be surprised if these jackets are covered with rounded, protruding, gel-filled compartments, each one vibrant with energy.
"If you can find a PS3 anywhere in North America that's been on shelves for more than five minutes, I'll give you 1,200 bucks for it." -- SCEA President Jack Tretton
MIT Student Arrested at Gunpoint in Airport for Electronics Shirt
September 24, 2007, 4:55 AM
Philips Demonstrates LED Fabric Technology
January 20, 2007, 1:40 AM
Buzz Aldrin Says First Astronauts to Set Foot on Mars Should Never Return Home
July 9, 2014, 9:46 AM
Women May Soon Be Able to Control Their Fertility via Remote Control
July 7, 2014, 10:14 AM
Tiny "Bio-bots" Powered by Muscle Cells, Electrical Pulses
July 3, 2014, 7:00 PM
Boston Using Solar-Powered Benches as Phone Charging Stations
July 1, 2014, 1:09 PM
Hobby Lobby Ruling Raises Question -- Can Religious Doctors Deny Transfusions?
June 30, 2014, 7:57 PM
First Production HondaJet Takes to the Skies
June 30, 2014, 2:53 PM
Most Popular Articles
Silver-Doped Superconductor Stores 550,000+ Times Earth's Magnetic Field
July 3, 2014, 8:48 AM
Despite Legal Threats Google Begins Posting Warnings of ISP Throttling
July 7, 2014, 5:52 PM
Leaked Photos Show New Lumia 830 Smartphone With Aluminum Frame
July 3, 2014, 11:31 AM
Google Steps up Moral Censorship, Hogties All Ads With Sexual Content
July 4, 2014, 2:00 PM
Apple's iPhone, iPad Update iOS 7.1.2 is Badly Broken for Some
July 8, 2014, 2:00 PM
Latest Blog Posts
Space Terrorism is a Looming Threat For the United States
Apr 23, 2014, 7:47 PM
Facebook Aims to Provide Internet to "Every Person in the World" with Drones, Satellites
Apr 1, 2014, 10:20 AM
Retail Mobile Sites Experience Outages in Light of Simplexity's Bankruptcy
Mar 14, 2014, 8:48 AM
Tesla vs. BMW: Who Has the Safer EV?
Feb 1, 2014, 2:56 PM
Justice Leaks Details of Next HTC One Two Flagship Phone
Dec 5, 2013, 4:04 PM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information