The gadget in question functions like a regenerative brake of certain hybrid cars: the kinetic energy released by the legs in action is preserved when the human being slows down and is redistributed thereafter within another sector. Research gives some examples of the force of this technique, which would be sufficient to feed in electricity a cellphone, a GPS or an implanted neurotransmitter.
These knee braces were tested on six men who were commissioned to walk on a treadmill at a rate of 1.5 meters per second or 3.5 kilometers per hour. A control group carried the gadget deactivated in order to measure how much it had an impact on the runner. According to the associate professor of mechanical engineering Arthur Kuro, fro the University of Michigan, the device is heavy and bulky. However, the energy generation has little influence on the carrier, whether it is activated or not. Only left on the plan is to polish this technology in order to make it more ergonomic.
In particular, the energy-recycling gadget could be used by the soldiers or by any individual who does not have immediate access to electricity. The scientists believe that similar mechanisms could be seen in prosthetic knees or other devices such as neurotransmitters and pacemakers which still require batteries at this moment.
Michael Bertiaux [February 21, 2008]
Send this IT news to a friend