Feeds

Oz Army eyes electric vibro vest to replace batteries

To 'harvest' power Matrix style from wobbling body parts

Intelligent flash storage arrays

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.

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Renewable energy 'simply WON'T WORK': Top Google engineers
Windmills, solar, tidal - all a 'false hope', say Stanford PhDs
SEX BEAST SEALS may be egging each other on to ATTACK PENGUINS
Boffin: 'I think the behaviour is increasing in frequency'
Post-pub nosh neckfiller: The MIGHTY Scotch egg
Off to the boozer? This delicacy might help mitigate the effects
I'M SO SORRY, sobs Rosetta Brit boffin in 'sexist' sexy shirt storm
'He is just being himself' says proud mum of larger-than-life physicist
NASA launches new climate model at SC14
75 days of supercomputing later ...
The next big thing in medical science: POO TRANSPLANTS
Your brother's gonna die, kid, unless we can give him your, well ...
Britain's HUMAN DNA-strewing Moon mission rakes in £200k
3 days, and Kickstarter moves lander 37% nearer takeoff
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
5 critical considerations for enterprise cloud backup
Key considerations when evaluating cloud backup solutions to ensure adequate protection security and availability of enterprise data.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Protecting against web application threats using SSL
SSL encryption can protect server‐to‐server communications, client devices, cloud resources, and other endpoints in order to help prevent the risk of data loss and losing customer trust.