Feeds

Oz Army eyes electric vibro vest to replace batteries

To 'harvest' power Matrix style from wobbling body parts

High performance access to file storage

The Australian army is looking to design a miraculous vest which generates electricity by "harvesting" the energy from its wearers' "body vibrations".

The remarkable vest, dubbed Flexible Integrated Energy Device (FIED), is intended to reduce the burgeoning burden of batteries that modern soldiers must carry to power their various optics, communications, laser designators etc.

"It will look like an ordinary garment but have extraordinary capabilities," according to Oz boffin Dr Adam Best. "As the person wearing the garment moves, the vibrations they create can be harvested and channelled into recharging the battery or powering plug-in electronic devices."

It seems the Australian defence department is sinking a cool AUS$4.4m into the electriFIED vibro vest. The cash will get the transducer fitted "to a place where energy can be harvested from the person's body", according to Best.

The human body is theoretically quite a good power source, at least in the context of personal electronics - if not that of public transport systems.

The machines had found all the power they

could ever need.

People can put out 75 watts fairly sustainably on stationary cycles coupled to generators, or as much as 150 watts over shorter periods. But it's hard to imagine that this much power gets wasted in "vibrations", unless of course one is talking about persons of unusual physique. Dr Best may be a fan of the poet Herrick, perhaps.* Or maybe Baywatch.

The American forces have lately said they would be happy with a portable system that delivered 20W on average. It seems most unlikely that Best will be able to wring this kind of juice out of a wobbly lovehandle or other oscillatory anatomical features.

Still, you can't blame him for trying. And the tech might work better in the field of civilian personal electronics, which don't normally need anything like as much as 20W. Best has his eye on non-military applications, apparently.

One day, we might all be powering our phones, iPods, head-mounted tellies etc from wired-up vests drawing juice from our wobbly bits. The machines would then truly have found all the power they would ever need.

Full coverage from IT News of Australia here. Slashdot thread (of course) here. ®

*"Next, when I cast mine eyes and see / That brave vibration each way free / O how that glittering taketh me!" - from "Upon Julia's Clothes," appropriately enough.

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Fancy joining Reg hack on quid-a-day challenge?
Recruiting now for charity starvation diet
Red-faced LOHAN team 'fesses up in blown SPEARS fuse fiasco
Standing in the corner, big pointy 'D' hats
KILLER SPONGES menacing California coastline
Surfers are safe, crustaceans less so
LOHAN's Punch and Judy show relaunches Thursday
Weather looking good for second pop at test flights
Discovery time for 200m WONDER MATERIALS shaved from 4 MILLENNIA... to 4 years
Alloy, Alloy: Boffins in speed-classification breakthrough
Elon Musk's LEAKY THRUSTER gas stalls Space Station supply run
Helium seeps from Falcon 9 first stage, delays new legs for NASA robonaut
Top Secret US payload launched into space successfully
Clandestine NRO spacecraft sets off on its unknown mission
New FEMTO-MOON sighted BIRTHING from Saturn's RING
Icy 'Peggy' looks to be leaving the outer rings
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.