With a title like that, how can I let this go by?
According to Information Week, a team of researchers from the University of Michigan, Simon Fraser University in Canada and the University of Pittsburgh have developed a knee brace that captures energy from a moving knee, similar to the way a Prius recharges its batteries from regenerative braking. The researchers call their new device a a “biomechanical energy harvester,” which, as the Infoweek reporter points out, is not a very snappy name. Hence the Power Plant in Your Pants recommendation.
So how much energy can be generated? Enough to “operate a portable GPS locator, a cell phone, a motorized prosthetic joint or an implanted neurotransmitter.” Right now their device is too heavy to be practical, it weighs 3Â toÂ 5 pounds, but the current model was really only designed to be proof of concept. They expect to have a light weight and slimmed down version ready in about 18 months.