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Music's Potential with MEMS

Category: Science & Technology
Posted: 02:27PM

Microelectromechanical systems, or MEMS, are small devices which utilize phenomena such as the piezoelectric effect which connects electrical and mechanical energy. A particular field where this technology could be quite useful is medicine as MEMS could be used as medical-sensor implants. Sensors require power though, and the researchers at Purdue University have an interesting idea for how to supply the energy.

With a piezoelectric cantilever the researchers created a sensor that can be powered by music. If the frequencies in the music are in the correct area, the resulting vibrations will power the sensor. For this particular sensor, when the music stops the stored up energy is released, triggering the sensor to collect and transmit pressure data. The sensor is meant to measure the pressure of the bladder and blood vessels damaged by an aneurism.

While testing the design, the researchers compared music selections from four genres; rap, blues, jazz, and rock. As the sensor is most sensitive to frequencies ranging from 200 Hz to 500 Hz, rap won. Personally I’d like to see how pieces by Moussorgsky, Rimsky-Korsakov, Stravinsky and Tchaikovsky would perform.

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