Break A Leg for PowerCategory: Science & Technology
Posted: June 18, 2012 07:06AM
The phase, 'break a leg' comes from performing arts. It was a good luck wish for the performers to be so applauded after their performance that they must bow or curtsy, which required bending or breaking the leg. (I know more than just science facts.) As reported by the Institute of Physics (paper), researchers in the UK have developed a system to harvest energy from the bending of knee, and this could prove useful for some medical technologies and warriors in the field.
The device itself has two rings, one inside the other. As the knee bends, the inner ring rotates and plucks plectra in the outer ring. These plectra then vibrate like a guitar string and using the piezoelectric effect, electricity is generated from the vibration. Currently just 2 mW of power is generated, but the researchers are confident they can increase this to 30 mW.
The ability to generate electricity from normal movement would be useful for any mobile technology. Monitoring systems like heart monitors, pedometers, and accelerometers could potentially be powered with such a system, which may help doctors and patients, but it could very well be the warriors that see the greatest benefit. Just for foot patrol, some warriors have to carry up to 20 pounds of power equipment for their technology. I am sure they would all welcome anything that allows them to reduce the weight, without reducing their function.