Museum of Science and Industry

Our modern world depends on the production of electrical power, but transmitting that electricity from power plants to our homes is such a schlep! Wouldn’t it be nice if we could simply harvest the forms of energy that surround us in our everyday environment?

Scientists at MIT have created a small hybrid chip that can convert and collect energy from several types of ambient energy— sources that just happen to be around, like solar, heat, and even vibrations in a busy sidewalk. Efficiently combining the different voltages produced by each source is important, because this ambient energy is rarely consistent throughout the day. This cool little device can power itself and other low-power devices by drawing from the free, untapped energy surrounding it.

Someday, these little chips may be advanced enough to power implanted medical devices such as pacemakers. Personally, I’d like to make a suit out of them and power my cell phone by just jogging through my neighborhood. Although, then I’d have to start jogging… Hmmph.

Image: Christine Daniloff via MIT News

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